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Ant Financial signs third Chinese bank technology deal

Ant Financial, the financial services spin-off of e-commerce giant Alibaba, has added another string to its bow, signing its third deal this month as a strategic technology supplier to the Chinese banking industry.

Today’s agreement with Shanghai Pudong Development Bank is the third of its kind announced this month between Ant Financial and established banks, following partnerships with Huaxia Bank and China Everbright Bank.

As in the previous agreements, Ant Financial and SPD Bank will partner in online risk management, including fraud prevention, with the former providing technological support to help the latter prevent loan, transaction and marketing fraud. The partnership will also leverage Ant’s financial-grade technologies in AI, supply chain finance, biometric identification and risk management.

Eric Jing, executive chairman and CEO of Ant Financial, says: “Ant Financial and SPD Bank share the same vision for the future. With this partnership, we will explore how to improve efficiency in banking operations, as well as how to leverage technology to create greater value for our users.”

Jing signalled the company’s objective of opening its technology platform to third party banks at the 2017 Ant Fortune Open Platform Conference.

In addition to the bank partnerships signed this month, Ant Financial’s consumer finance service Huabei also announced that it would support other financial institutions in the provision of consumer financing, while Alipay added two new third-party money market funds to the Yu’e Bao spare cash management platform.

In a separate development, Ant Financial has completed a $10 billion funding round from a clutch of global and local investors, valuing the company at $150 billion. The capital-raising comes ahead of a widely expected initial public offering (IPO) for Ant Financial, which currently services 870 million users worldwide.

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