Bangladesh-based financial services provider bKash has partnered with Ant Financial Services Group, operator of Alipay, to encourage financial inclusion for the unbanked people in the country.

Under the partnership, Ant Financial Services will invest in bKash and assist it to enhance its technological capacity to enable the Bangladeshi unit to provide financial services across the nation.

bKash was established in 2010 by BRAC Bank and Money in Motion.

It has more than 180,000 agents throughout urban and rural areas of Bangladesh and around 30 million registered accounts.

International Finance (IFC) and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation have also been the shareholders of this financial services company from 2013 and 2014 respectively.

bKash CEO Kamal Quadir said: “Along with its investment, Alipay brings the best payment technologies built by thousands of engineers and the knowledge of applying those technologies to economies like China which went through a massive transformation in recent years.

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“Such track record makes Ant Financial a fitting partner for bKash since Bangladesh too has a large population of 160 million and an economy that is advancing rapidly.”

Launched in 2004, Alipay is one of the largest third-party payment platforms in the world. Along with its strategic partners, it has more than 800 million users, reported Dhakatribune.com.

Ant Financial executive chairman and CEO Eric Jing said: “As part of Ant Financial’s global strategy, we are keen to share our technology know-how with partners like bKash, who has successfully brought financial services to the largely unbanked population in Bangladesh.”