Ant Financial, the company behind China's digital payment giant Alipay, has ramped up its global expansion with an investment in Thailand's Ascend Money.
The companies said in a Tuesday statement that the deal would help Ascend Money grow its digital and offline payments and financial services business in Thailand, while opening doors for Ant Financial to expand into the broader Southeast Asian market.
Details on the investment were not disclosed but a June statement on China's Ministry of Commerce website indicated Ant Financial planned to take a 20 percent stake, with an option to buy a further 10 percent.
Bangkok-based Ascend also operates in Indonesia, The Philippines, Vietnam, Myanmar and Cambodia. The company, which is a subsidiary of Thai conglomerate Charoen Pokphand, offers e-payment services and micro-loans targeted at customers who are under-served by big financial services players.
Ascend CEO Punnamas Vichitkulwongsa told CNBC's "Street Signs" in an interview that Ant Financial had a successful history of catering to the under-banked population in China.