Ant deal to support 2C2P expansion plan

Ant deal to support 2C2P expansion plan

Acquisition set to be completed in Q2

2C2P, a major payment platform in Asean, has created an ambitious plan to expand its services globally after Ant Group, an affiliated company of Alibaba, last month agreed to acquire a majority stake in the Singapore-based firm.

"For this year, we will grow faster than ever as we have a springboard from our new major shareholder," said Piyachart Ratanaprasartporn, chief executive of 2C2P Thailand, during a virtual media interview.

The deal with Ant is expected to be completed by the second quarter, he said.

Through the strategic partnership, 2C2P's pool of merchants -- inclusive of global and regional brands -- will be connected with Alipay+, a mobile payment platform developed by Ant Group, extending its current offering of 250 payment options to include more e-wallets and local payment methods.

Under this partnership, merchants are able to benefit from a wider geographical reach, connecting to over one billion consumers globally.

"2C2P will expand beyond Southeast Asia faster while having access to more mobile wallet users connected through Alipay+," said Mr Piyachart. "Ant would also be able to gain a pool of 2C2P merchants into its network."

In Asean, the company expects to gain more customers in the Philippines, Indonesia and Vietnam, he said, noting that the firm already has a strong customer base in Thailand, Singapore and Myanmar.

The partnership deal will combine the power of both Alipay+ and 2C2P with extensive merchant coverage, said Angel Zhao, president of Ant Group's international business group.

"The partnership is a win-win collaboration built on strengths and shared vision to accelerate the digital transformation for business through innovation and best-in-class payments solutions," Ms Zhao said.

On the back of the partnership, Mr Piyachart said, 2C2P aims to expand its global merchant coverage in addition to strengthening its technology and product capabilities to better serve merchants.

The firm will start with the European market by applying operating licences there, he said.

The move means the cost for merchants within Asean, including Thais, in receiving payments from Europe would decrease.

The firm is also looking to expand to Asia Pacific countries and even the Middle East to become one of the main global financial service providers within two years by investing in the licensed firms, Mr Piyachart said.

During the pandemic, the platform lost some fee revenues from online travel agencies and hotel bookings.

"As Thailand is reopening for tourism, the revenue rebound can be expected in this segment," Mr Piyachart said.

In Asean, digital payments account for 90% of the total payment conducted via e-commerce. The e-commerce market in the region is expected to reach US$179.8 billion in 2025, up 162% from 2021.

In 2025, Indonesia is expected to stand at the top of Asean's e-commerce market in terms of spending with an estimated $83 billion, followed by Vietnam at $29 billion and Thailand at $24 billion.

Mr Piyachart said 2C2P is aiming for a revenue increase of 25-30% year-on-year in 2022, up from 2 billion baht last year.

So far, half of the revenue has come from Thailand with the remainder from overseas, he said.

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