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How PayPal Is Battling Tencent and Alibaba in Europe and India


Jun. 26 2019, Published 1:54 p.m. ET

PayPal and Tencent invest in European payment startups around the same time

PayPal (PYPL) invested more than $11 million in Swedish open-banking platform Tink early this month. Tink operates a platform that aggregates data fetched from thousands of banks across Europe, thereby allowing financial service providers to create apps that can work with different banks. The investment from PayPal will help Tink expand across Europe, the companies announced.

PayPal’s investment in Tink came around the same time Tencent (TCEHY) also teamed up with the Singaporean government-owned fund Temasek to invest $35 million in British open-banking platform TrueLayer. Like Tink, TrueLayer also aggregates bank data to support the building of financial products and services that can work across different banks.

Back in February, Alibaba’s payment affiliate Ant Financial bought Britain-based digital money transfer and currency exchange provider WorldFirst.

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Payment battle rages from Europe to India

PayPal, Tencent, and Alibaba can be seen in a race to tap European financial technologies as they work to expand their content operations and leverage innovations on the continent to support their businesses in other markets. India is another major battlefield for PayPal, Tencent, and Alibaba. PayPal launched domestic operations in India in 2017, the same year Tencent teamed up with Microsoft (MSFT) and eBay (EBAY) to invest $1.4 billion in Flipkart, one of the country’s top e-commerce and mobile payment providers. Flipkart, now controlled by Walmart (WMT), runs a digital payment service called PhonePe in India. On its part, Alibaba is a large investor in Paytm, a leading mobile payment provider in India.

PayPal’s revenue from international operations rose 17% year-over-year to $1.9 billion in the first quarter.


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