Roughly six years ago, the Ant Group didn’t exist. However, fast forward to today, and they have become one of the largest financial institutions in the world with a target valuation of $280 billion. How has a business that was only started six years ago managed to see such explosive growth? Well, that’s exactly what we’re going to explore in this article.
Who Are Ant Group?
The Ant Group provides e-wallet services and online investments. Available to both consumers and businesses, they are on a mission to provide everyone with equal access to financial services that are inclusive, green and sustainable.
Over the last couple of years, they have diversified the services they offer and now offer services such as wealth management, loans to businesses, and insurance. They’ve even now started to provide their technology to other banks.
The company places a heavy focus on technology. In fact, they even decided to rename from Ant Financial to Ant Group in June 2020 to stress their focus on tech over finance. They also prefer to call themselves a TechFin, rather than a FinTech. Their constant pursuit of becoming a leader in technology is one of the key reasons behind their monumental success.
The Factors Behind ANT Group Success
- Their Tech-First Approach
As we briefly alluded to above, Ant Groups focus on technology is a huge reason behind their success. Ever since their inception, digital technology has been part and parcel of everything they do. And with more than 60% of Ant’s employees being engineers and programmers, you can start to understand why their technology has become so impressive.
They are doing everything to drive their tech services forward, with Reuters estimating that in 2021 Ant’s technology services will shoot up to 65 percent, from about 34 percent. The technology that they have created/aiming to create is undoubtedly superior to what we have in the West, with innovative products such as invisible payments set to be launched in the future.
The Ant Group are aiming to position themselves as a technology partner with the traditional financial sector. Selling their software and expertise to other Chinese banks is a prime example of this. The Bank of Nanjing has been using their risk control technology, whilst Huaxia Bank has turned to Ant for its expertise in blockchain, AI, and biometric verification. Partnerships such as these have enabled them to become leaders in their field.
- Targeting the Underbanked and Unbanked
Ant Group has placed a key focus on targeting the underbanked and unbanked population. Rather than trying to target developed countries such as the US and Japan, they have focused on the unmet demand in developing countries. More than 200 million SMEs in emerging economies lack adequate financing, and Ant is successfully helping to change this.
Through services such as Alipay, they have been able to not only acquire many users in developing countries, but also help fill in the gaps in the financial system of many nations. The Alipay app enables those who lack access to financial services to benefit from local e-wallets, manage their bills, and buy wealth management products.
Ant Group Looks Set to Dominate
Their tech-first mindset, smart approach to partnerships and their focus on meeting unmet demand have been fundamental driving forces in their success so far. And with the key investments Ant is making to accelerate the adoption of its technology, they look set to continue to dominate the Fintech industry.