JD.com fintech affiliate launches new digital wallet in Thailand
Fintech affiliate of Chinese e-commerce platform JD.com, JD Digits, has partnered with Thailand’s biggest retailer Central Group to launch digital wallet app Dolfin.
The new app, which will be managed by Central JD Fintech, will provide online payment, lending and investment services for Thailand customers and integrate with 3,000 shopping malls, supermarkets and grocery stores.
As well as helping buyers, the app will also help merchants, offering big data-based marketing solutions and business operation strategies, along with online credit, wealth management and insurance.
The three-year-old joint venture, a product of $500 million, is now the first digital wallet app in Thailand to adopt JD Digits’ electronic Know-Your-Customer (eKYC) technology.
JD Central Fintech’s chief executive Rungruang Sukkirdkijpiboon says the platform aims to attract 400,000 users by the end of this year and 1.5 million by the end of next year.
With its large population of unbanked residents and easy internet access, Thailand will offer the Chinese fintech a strong gateway into Southeast Asian business.
JD’s advances into abroad territory echo the movements made by competitors over the last three years. Online search engine Baidu Inc, Alibaba Group-backed Ant Financial Services Group and Tencent Holdings have all set up partnerships with paytech firms in Thailand.
With more than 92% of Thailand’s urban population covered by a blanket of working internet, and with only 13% of rural citizens living in wifi-free zones, Thailand offers a very reachable customer base.
The partnership also resonates with Thailand government’s bid to push the population to cashless transactions, as well as its reputation as a hotspot for Chinese tourists who now want cross-border payments.