Ping An’s OneConnect, the blockchain and AI company, has struck a string of deals across Asia after opening an office in Singapore last year. This comes in the run-up to their anticipated IPO in September, as they aim to increase their presence in the region.
The recent agreements have been reached in Japan, Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam, allowing OneConnect to expand their services across the rest of Asia.
This is corroborated by OneConnect CEO Ms. Tan Bin Ru who says they “continue to look forward to strengthening our presence [in Asia] as quickly as we did in China”.
OneConnect is the fintech arm of Ping An Group, China’s second-largest insurer by revenue. The fintech provides banking, investment and insurance solutions via their SaaS platform, which leverages AI, blockchain and biometric identification.
In Japan, OneConnect have partnered with financial services group SBI. This will allow OneConnect to start rolling out its services to the Japanese market and begin to introduce a blockchain-based settlement platform across the Asia-Pacific.
The rest of the recent deals focus on financial inclusion, both of individuals and micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs). Ms. Tan Bin Ru claims that OneConnect are aiming to help financial institutions achieve their stated goal of increasing financial inclusion across Asia.
Last week, OneConnect announced a partnership with UBX, the fintech subsidiary of Union Bank of Philippines. The deal aims to provide blockchain-based solutions to MSMEs and will involve supply chain finance, along with aiding with credit checking and loan applications.
The supply chain finance platform “One Enterprise Chain” – which has already been implemented in China – encourages bigger institutions to bring their MSME suppliers with them. This makes it easier for the MSMEs to access funding by rendering the supply chain more transparent, by recording paperwork and transactions on a blockchain.
Widening MSME access to financial services is also the onus of deals struck in Malaysia and Indonesia, the latter via partnerships with PT Bank Sinarmas and private credit bureau PT Kredit Biro Indonesia Jaya.
In Vietnam, OneConnect will be working towards making loans more accessible to local populations.
OneConnect’s IPO – which is being prepared by Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan and Morgan Stanley – is reportedly expected to be listed in New York rather than Hong Kong, due primarily to uncertainties linked to trade. They seek to raise up to $1 billion.
Last year, OneConnect was valued at $7.5 billion, after a Series A investment round which raised $650 million.