The Philippine Competition Commission said Wednesday it approved Alipay Singapore Holding Pte.’s acquisition of a significant stake in Globe Fintech Innovations Inc.
Under the transaction, Alipay, a unit of Ant Financial Services Group led by Chinese billionaire Jack Ma, will acquire 45 percent of Globe Fintech or Mynt, a financial technology company formed by Globe which pioneered the Gcash electronic money in the Philippines.
Globe Capital Venture Holdings Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Globe Telecom Inc., will hold the remaining 45 percent of the issued and outstanding share capital of Globe Fintech, while Ayala Corp. will have 10 percent.
PCC said it proceeded to a phase 2 review of the Alipay-Globe Fintech transaction as it needed to conduct an in-depth analysis of the possible effects of the transaction on the non-bank electronic money market.
“Electronic money is increasingly becoming a preferred mode of payment for the unbanked consumers, and we wanted to protect competition in this niche market,” PCC said.
PCC said there appeared to be no increased ability nor incentive for Globe Fintech to block the entry or expansion of other players in the market after the acquisition.
“We have closely looked into the dynamics of the players within the non-bank electronic money market. Since this market is still evolving, there is scope for more players to enter the industry, domestic or foreign. Therefore, the competition in this market is expected to remain robust,” it said.
Ant Financial Group is a major third-party payment service provider in 70 overseas markets. It covers more than 100,000 retail stores and can carry out transactions in 18 currencies.
Globe Fintech is currently wholly-owned by Globe Capital Venture Holdings Inc., which in turn is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Globe Telecom Inc.
Globe Fintech operates G-Xchange Inc. that handles G-Cash, a micropayment service that transforms the mobile phone into a virtual wallet, and Fuse Lending Inc., a tech-based lending company.
These companies enable payments and transfer of prepaid load, pay bills, send money, make donations, shop online and purchase goods via e-money.