Emtek partners Ant Financial; will launch new mobile payments platform together

Yon Heong Tung
Ant-Financial

The mobile payments platform will be offered on the Blackberry Messenger

Indonesian media and tech mogul Emtek Group has announced a strategic partnership with Alibaba’s digital payments company Ant Financial. The two companies will jointly develop a suite of financial services. These includes a mobile payments platform that will first debut on the Blackberry Messenger (BBM), a platform that Emtek acquired last year.

The BBM is one of Indonesia’s most widely-used messenging apps, serving over 63 million Indonesians per month. But like Tencent’s WeChat, Emtek envisions BBM as a self-contained ecosystem that provides a host of internet services including e-commerce. Currently, users can shop on Indonesian marketplace Bukalapak without leaving the app.

Its synergy with Ant Financial is evident — Ant’s Alipay app allows its over 450 million users to hail a taxi, book a hotel, buy movie tickets, pay utility bills, make appointments with doctors, purchase wealth management products and manage their finances.

“Ant Financial has proven know-how in delivering payment and other financial solutions to a large and growing mobile audience in China and enabling its partners globally, and we are looking forward to replicating and creating this success in Indonesia,” said Alvin Sariaatmadja, CEO of Emtek, in an official press statement.

But beyond BBM, the joint venture will also roll out its mobile payments technology to e-commerce, over-the-top (OTT) and online-to-offline (O2O) services, merchants and platforms in Indonesia. No specific companies were mentioned.

Also Read: Indonesian state-owned telco Telkom to cancel Netflix ban, following new partnership

Emtek operates other platforms including online publishers Liputan6.com, Bola.com, Bintang.com, Vidio.com, careers portal Karir.com, and travel portal Reservasi.com. It also runs two national TV networks. Together, these subsidiary companies will help drive awareness and adoption of its new services.

In recent months, Alibaba has been ramping up its drive to establish itself in Southeast Asia through a series of partnerships and acquisitions.

Last year, it partnered with the Indonesian government to help SMEs with their marketing. Then, it acquired a controlling stake in Rocket Internet’s e-commerce platform Lazada, which spans across six Southeast Asian markets.Alibaba also then acquired Singapore-based grocery delivery service Redmart through Lazada.

And last month, Alibaba announced it will set up a regional logistics hub in Malaysia.

Image Credit: Alibaba

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