China’s Ant Financial, the digital payments arm of Alibaba, is extending its global footprint by agreeing to buy the US money transfer service MoneyGram in a deal valued at $880 million.
The transaction underlines the expansion drive by Ant Financial, which gained around 100 million clients last year, taking its overall total to over 500 million. Its mobile platform, Alipay, processes around 250 million transactions per day, supporting in excess of 2 million Chinese retail businesses.
According to Ant Financial, the transaction will connect its vast network of users with MoneyGram’s money transfer network of 2.4 billion bank and mobile accounts and 350,000 physical locations.
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Just last week Ant CEO Eric Jing spoke about the company’s international ambitions, promising to use its huge cash pile to boost user numbers to two billion people within the next decade.
MoneyGram will remain headquartered in Dallas and continue to operate under its existing brand, headed by CEO Alex Holmes. The company plans to tap Ant Financial’s global presence and existing network to cater to over 630 million users and increase its business in Asi.
Jing commented: “The acquisition of MoneyGram is a significant milestone in our mission to bring inclusive financial services to users around the world. We believe financial services should be simple, low-cost and accessible to the many, not the few”.
“The combination of Ant Financial and MoneyGram will provide greater access, security and simplicity for people around the world to remit funds, especially in major economies such as the United States, China, India, Mexico and the Philippines.”
The purchase of the US-based company is subject to the go-ahead from watchdogs, including the Committee on Foreign Investment in the US.