BEIJING - Ant Financial Services Group, the company behind the popular payment app Alipay, is extending its services to regional countries including Pakistan through a partnership with local mobile financial service providers, another step toward its globalisation goal of serving 2 billion users within 10 years.

The financial technology giant recently entered into an agreement with Bangladesh, pledging to help the latter with technological upgrades it needs to serve the country's unbanked and under-banked population.

The two sides will join forces to co-create a local version of a mobile payment tool mimicking Alipay, with core functionalities like money transfer embedded in phones, sources told China Daily.

"As part of Ant Financial's global strategy, we are keen to share our technology know-how with their regional partners.

"We are confident that we can bring highly secure and inclusive financial services to address the needs of local people and small business here."

The Chinese company will bring the worldwide total of Ant-backed local mobile solutions to nine, most of which are scattered across Southeast Asia, from India's Paytm to Telenor Microfinance Bank in Pakistan.

"As China promotes the Belt and Road Initiative, there are certainly policy drivers at play," says Li Chao, a fintech expert at Beijing-based consultancy iResearch.

Alipay, which started out as a payment solution to facilitate the e-commerce transactions of Alibaba Group Holding Ltd, is in a position to provide the financial infrastructure crucial to Chinese small and medium-sized enterprises as they expand overseas, Li says.

"Ant needs to be present in markets where their corporate clients go to. Economies related to the initiative are no doubt among the biggest draw," he says.