Global digital payment and financial technology provider, Ant International, has launched bettr. This is a global digital lending service providing micro lending to micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in strategic markets through embedded finance partnerships.

Yang Peng, CEO of Ant International said: “I’m thrilled to introduce bettr to SMEs and industry partners across emerging markets. This is a major milestone in our journey to empower SMEs worldwide with innovative fintech solutions through open collaboration with regional partners.

“bettr’s mission is to make financing simpler and more accessible for micro and small businesses as they become the new engine for regional and cross-border trade and commerce. We look forward to expanding partnerships with leaders across industries to achieve our shared vision for an inclusive, sustainable future commerce ecosystem.”

The IFC estimates that 65 million firms, or 40% of formal MSMEs in developing countries, have an unmet financing need of $5.2trn every year. Recognising the unmet need for inclusive and accessible financial services globally, bettr aims to enable an open, collaborative ecosystem to enhance the accessibility and ease of credit support. It will leverage AI, privacy-preserving computing and other digital innovations to close the financing divide and unlock growth opportunities for MSMEs.

bettr announces inaugural embedded finance collaboration with AWC

bettr has partnered with Asset World Corporation (AWC), a Thai integrated lifestyle real estate group and a member of the TCC Group.

Wallapa Traisorat, CEO and President of AWC said: “AWC is very excited to partner with Ant International for the launch of bettr. This collaboration will allow both parties to fully leverage their strengths where bettr will intuitively avail digital lending to AWC’s ecosystem of micro and small businesses via our various platforms and engagement channels.

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“The first phase of this partnership will launch AWC’s flagship project “Phenix,” the world’s food wholesale hub. This features the largest food lounge in Pratunam, set to open on 26 June 2024. The partnership is expected to benefit sellers, buyers, and AWC suppliers, conducting business on Phenix both online and offline. It will eventually benefit merchants across AWC’s Hospitality, Retail and Wholesale and Commercial businesses.”

Yang Peng added: “With a booming SME economy, Thailand has been a strategic market for Ant International from day one. This is where we learned from deep-rooted partnerships and serve thousands of local businesses through digital payments, connecting them with global travellers and export markets. With bettr, we are now able to expand the financial services offerings by providing accessible financing, empowering small businesses to grow and thrive.”