Ant Financial has already been supplying its technology to 200 other financial institutions. Today at their conference in Hangzhou China, they launched a new brand called ‘Ant Financial Technology’. The purpose is to target sales to financial institutions.
Major Chinese insurers Ping An and Zhong An both have technology divisions where they partner with outside firms. Zhong An Technology is involved in numerous blockchain initiatives. And the company recently raised $100m from Softbank to expand their reach outside of China. Ping An Technology is involved in the Hong Kong Trade Finance Platform.
Ant Financial, the operator of AliPay, is a division of Alibaba. Early investors in Ant Financial included funds controlled by the Chinese State. In May it raised $14 billion at a reported $150 billion valuation in anticipation of an IPO soon.
The company says that a hundred plus banks already use their technology. In addition, their customers include over sixty insurance companies and more than forty asset management companies and security brokers.
The new brand will offer five product portfolios: large-scale financial transaction technologies, financial security technologies, financial intelligence technologies, next-generation interaction technologies, and blockchain applications.
Wenkai ZHOU, VP of Bank of Nanjing commented: “The rapid development of financial technology has had a profound impact on the traditional financial industry. To overcome some of the growth challenges of our business, we partnered with Ant Financial to build a distributed digital finance platform. This significantly enhanced our ability to underwrite loans and led us to expand our partnership in a number of other areas.”
A recent example of Ant using blockchain is cheaper remittances from Hong Kong to the Philippines. Hence, the net effect is similar to Ripple’s cross-border payments. They’ve also been involved in a rice traceability project and blockchain-based prescriptions.
At today’s event, Ant Financial VP Geoff Jiang said that blockchain technologies had progressed faster than most forecasts. And in the next two years, they expect commercialization to accelerate significantly.
Mr. Jiang also officially announced Ant Financial’s Blockchain as a Service solution based on their in-house blockchain technology.
Shareholder Alibaba Group holds the most blockchain patents in the world. According to a report by IPR Daily and incoPat the company filed more than 10% of the world’s blockchain patents. The intellectual property covered includes consensus mechanisms, smart contracts, trusted computing, privacy protection, and cross-chain interaction.