Ant International to Expand to Saudi Arabia

The partnership with the Ministry of Investment of Saudi Arabia enables Ant International to expand its e-commerce and digital payment services across the Middle East.

Ant International to Expand to Saudi Arabia

Ant International, a Singapore-based fintech company, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Ministry of Investment of Saudi Arabia (MISA) to expand its business into the country.

MISA is to support Ant International’s plan to establish an entity in Saudi Arabia, assisting the Asian fintech giant with acquiring licenses and certificates required to expand and enhance its service offerings.

Ant International sees Saudi Arabia not only as a lucrative market itself but also as a primary gateway for further expansion of its digital payment solutions across the Middle East.

“We see an enormous opportunity for expansion in the Middle East and in particular Saudi Arabia, which has been supportive of technological innovations and digitalisation, empowering its businesses to thrive,” said Douglas Feagin, Ant International President.

Eng Saleh Khabti, Deputy Minister of Investment of Saudi Arabia, shared Mr Feagin’s aspirations for the company bringing technological innovation and economic growth opportunities in Saudi Arabia.

“We have worked closely with Ant International on its expansion into the Kingdom which will not only benefit thousands of merchants across the country but potentially hundreds of thousands of businesses right across the Middle East,” he stated.

According to the statement, Ant International’s offering for Saudi businesses includes four main services available for global merchants. They are:

  • Alipay+ cross-border mobile payment and digitalization technology solutions,
  • Antom merchant payment services,
  • WorldFirst digital payment and financial services for cross-border trade,
  • ANEXT Bank, a digital wholesale bank regulated by the Monetary Authority of Singapore, and other embedded financial services.

Alipay+ currently connects over 88 million merchants to 1.5 billion user accounts on over 25 e-wallets and banking apps in 57 countries and regions. The service enables foreigners to use familiar apps from their home countries to make payments in China by scanning the QR codes of the Alipay platform and in other countries via local partners.

In late 2023, Ant Group established its international office in Singapore and announced an accelerated global expansion strategy. The Group is looking to expand into the payments markets of Europe, the Middle East and Latin America with its Alipay+ offering.

According to recent media reports, Ant Group is preparing to acquire the Dutch payment company MultiSafepay, as an important step to expand its activities in Europe.

Nina Bobro

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Nina is passionate about financial technologies and environmental issues, reporting on the industry news and the most exciting projects that build their offerings around the intersection of fintech and sustainability.