MoneyGram Agrees to Merge with Ant Financial

Through this $880 million deal, Ant will connect MoneyGram’s network of 2.4 billion bank and mobile accounts with Ant’s customers.
Ant, which is working closely with Alibaba, is seeking to expand its global presence amid increasing competition with the Tencent group at home.

Last year, Rakuten, Japan’s top e-commerce firm, downsized its international presence once again, closing its marketplaces in the UK, Spain and Austria, following a streamlining strategy to pull out from Southeast Asia and Brazil last year.
As the Rakuten case shows, the global expansion of e-commerce is more difficult than that of financial services.

The "last-mile" logistics problem still exists in e-commerce, requiring huge assets in local distribution centers.
Meanwhile, in modern financial services, technologies for mobility and security are the key.
In this sense, this M&A deal can be seen as an effective investment. Similar trends will likely accelerate in Asia as well.

Eiichiro Yanagawa About Eiichiro Yanagawa

Eiichiro Yanagawa is a senior analyst with Celent's Asian Financial Services group and is based in the firm’s Tokyo office. His research focuses on IT strategy issues in the Japanese and Asian banking and financial industries. His recent research has included core banking systems, ATMs, anti-money laundering technology, electronic trading, document management, IT spending trends, and business process outsourcing. Eiichiro's consulting experience includes development of bank IT strategies, thin client / desktop virtualization to support business continuity, evaluation of data centers for hosting core systems, and vendor selection of AML, risk management, and other technologies.

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