Ant Group has named Jia Hang the Regional General Manager for Southeast Asia as the financial services platform bolsters its capabilities in the fast-growing region.
Based in Singapore, Ant’s regional headquarters for Southeast Asia, Jia has over 20 years of experience in payments and financial technology.
The newly created role supports Ant’s efforts to serve over one billion Southeast Asia consumers by connecting them with e-wallets and other mobile payment methods.
“Amid a stronger push for businesses to recover and thrive by advancing digitally to innovate for the future, we must be right where our customers are,” Jia said in a statement on Wednesday.
Over 70% of adults in Southeast Asia lack sufficient access to financial services, while millions of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the region face large funding gaps.
The digital financial services industry could meet these banking needs through technology and data. The industry was worth $11 billion in 2019 and could hit up to $60 billion by 2025, according to a widely cited report by Google and Singapore’s Temasek.
Ant, the owner and operator of digital payment platform Alipay said it seeks to support individuals and local and regional businesses, especially small and medium-sized businesses to ride the wave of digitalization sweeping across the region.
As part of this push, Jia said Ant will leverage Alipay+, a suite of cross-border mobile payments and marketing solutions launched in November to connect merchants with payment methods. It will also lean on an ecosystem of established industry partners.
He also noted that Ant would contributed to nurturing local tech talent with initiatives such as 10×1000 Tech for Inclusion, an open and global fintech training platform launched jointly by the International Finance Corporation, a member of the World Bank Group, and Alipay in 2018.
Jia, a graduate of Beijing’s Tsinghua University, has played a number of important roles in Ant’s international operations since 2015.
His most recent responsibilities include overseeing the global operations of WorldFirst, an international payments business, and leading Ant’s payments solution team to support global and regional e-commerce marketplaces.