May 22, 2018
There is a limited variety of business strategies employed by technology and financial companies to remain competitive in the marketplace. And while most businesses have a hybrid model, there are often more distinguishable hallmarks of one model or another in their development. One of the ways technology companies are growing their reach is through an ecosystem model, where corporations aim to become an operating system of one’s life, deeply integrating their comprehensive suite of services with each other and feeding data into their other offerings (Alibaba Group).
Integrations into complementary fields, and even in the same field, is also a popular approach – the right partnership can make the business, extending its services to customers of another service, adding millions in the most impressive cases (JPMorgan Chase + OnDeck, Grab + Maybank, and more).
An acquisition is another way to integrate advanced technology and gain additional touch points with customers, absorb a new massive customer base, or expand consumer services, which is what Microsoft and Vodafone did this month.
Alipay, which claims to have 500 million active users, along with its rival Tencent, controls almost all of the Chinese $16 trillion mobile payments market. The technology’s ease of use has made it ubiquitous. claims 500 million active users, and, along with its rival Tencent, controls almost all of the Chinese $16 trillion mobile payments market. The technology’s ease of use has made it ubiquitous.
Alibaba, Ant Financial’s parent company, has integrated the payments technology into other services. Alipay has a total of 450 million people using its payments and other financial services, including wealth management and insurance. It is woven into Alibaba’s online retail operation. It is linked directly with a money-market fund, Yu’E Bao, so that customers can earn a yield on the idle balances in their accounts (Yu’E Bao has grown into the largest money-market fund in the world, with $230 billion under management). It is linked to consumer and business loan products. And all of these functions feed data into a credit scoring business, Sesame Credit....