Ant Financial, an Alibaba Group (BABA) affiliate, has reached a merger agreement with Southeast Asian payment platform helloPay, according to a joint press release issued by the two companies. (See also: Special Delivery: Alibaba Wants Faster Traffic to Europe.)

As a result, helloPay, created by Southeast Asian ecommerce site Lazada to process payments on its platform, will be rebranded as a version of Alipay in every country in which it operates. Alipay is a payment platform owned by Ant Financial that it boasts more than 450 million users, according to the Alibaba affiliate. The rebranding of helloPay would mean that it now bears Alipay Philippines, Alipay Singapore, Alipay Malaysia and so on in every country where it operates. However, the two companies said the features and services of helloPay would remain unchanged, adding that the helloPay app will remain separate from the main Alipay app.

This comes about a year after Alibaba bought a controlling stake, worth about $1 billion, in Lazada, a move driven by Lazada’s dominance in Southeastern Asia.

Pressing to Be a Global Payments Leader

The acquisition of helloPay is Ant Financial’s third acquisition since September, and the second this year. It acquired eye-based verification company EyeVerify last year and announced the acquisition of money transfer giant MoneyGram International Inc. (MGI) earlier this year. On April 18, it raised its offer for MoneyGram to $1.2 billion, or $18 per share, up from about $13.25 per share. (See also: MoneyGram and Ant Financial Sign Merger Agreement.)

With the latest acquisition, Ant Financial is signaling its intent to be a leading name in the global payments industry. Last week, Ant entered into a joint venture agreement with Indonesia’s Emtek Group for the development of local financial services, one of which would be a payment platform for the BlackBerry-owned messaging service BBM. The company had, in February, sought to raise about $3 billion in debt to fund global acquisitions.

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