The number of banks paying Ant to help them build mobile apps and provide cloud computing power jumped by 175% in the two months through April. Ant is now working with more than 200 lenders, according to the company. Inquiries to collaborate with the tech giant increased by 400% over the period.
Ant entered the banking arena as a disruptor, raising alarm bells for many of the nation’s 4,500 lenders. But about two years ago, it also expanded its strategy to sell services to banks. While that had so far met a tepid response, the virus outbreak is now providing Ant momentum, at least among the nation’s smaller, regional lenders. “The bigger banks might want to build their own private cloud, but we’re targeting the smaller lenders who might not have the budget to build their entire online infrastructure from scratch,” Liu Xin, who oversees Ant Group’s cloud unit, said in an interview.