Fintech & Ecommerce

Ant International Unveils MSME Digital Lending Service Bettr

bettr platform by Ant International aims to make financing simpler and more accessible for micro and small businesses (MSMEs) in select markets.

Ant International Unveils MSME Digital Lending Service Bettr

Ant International, a Singapore-based business division of Chinese fintech giant Ant Group, has introduced bettr – a digital microlending service for micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs).

To provide lending for this business category, bettr will enter into embedded finance partnerships, starting with Asset World Corporation (AWC), a Thailand-based real estate group and a member of the TCC Group. Bettr will provide digital lending to AWC’s MSME ecosystem via its platforms and engagement channels.

The partnership will start with the financial support required to launch AWC’s Phenix, a food wholesale hub. It will then be extended to merchants across AWC’s Hospitality, Retail, Wholesale, and Commercial businesses.

The platform leverages AI and privacy-preserving computing to enhance credit accessibility and support MSME growth. This tech innovation aims to address the unmet need for inclusive and accessible financial services among small-scale businesses globally. According to IFC, about 65 million firms, which is 40% of formal MSMEs in developing countries, have an unmet financing need of $5.2T annually.

Yang Peng, CEO of Ant International, noted that Thailand has been a strategic market for the company from day one, considering its booming SME economy. Ant International already serves thousands of local businesses through digital payments. With the expanded offering, the firm hopes to empower Thai small businesses to grow and thrive.

Ant Group established its international office in Singapore in late 2023 and announced an accelerated global expansion strategy. With its Alipay+ offering, the Group wants to expand into the payment markets of Europe, the Middle East, and Latin America.

Earlier this year, Ant International signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Ministry of Investment of Saudi Arabia (MISA) to expand its business in the country. The company plans to later expand its e-commerce and digital payment services across the Middle East.

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.