Beijing-based Future FinTech, a leading blockchain e-commerce and financial technology company, has laid down a marker, saying it plans to enter the challenger bank and digital payment sector.
FTFT has already recruited professionals from the industry and told NextMoney that it has been in frequent contact with companies in this sector in Southeast Asia and Europe, searching for M&A targets.
FTFT’s main target is the countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). It pointed out that half of the more than 300 million internet users in ASEAN countries have not yet used online financial services. For example, the annual digital payment in ASEAN is around RMB 5 trillion (approximately $714 billion), which is much smaller compared to nearly RMB300 trillion in mainland China (approximately $42.85 trillion).
Aso economic and trade cooperation between China and ASEAN countries has accelerated recently with increasing trade volumes and progress being made in regional economic integration. The market for cross-border payments and other financial services have huge potential. FTFT plans to open up cross-border payment channels between China and ASEAN countries through merger and acquisition with companies that have existing challenger banking and digital payment technologies and through cooperation with China’s WeChat and Alipay.
Shanchun Huang , CEO of FTFT, said: “ASEAN is a huge potential market for challenger banks. Under the leadership of our board of directors and management, we will build our competitive technology and business advantage in challenger banking and digital payment sector through our M&A strategy. Our goal is to turn FTFT into one of the leading financial technology companies in Asia, not only bringing a better banking experience to customers, but also bringing significant returns to our shareholders.”