TikTok enlists J.P. Morgan for fintech push

TikTok parent ByteDance has been enlisting the help of J.P. Morgan for payments technology for its push to expand into more than two dozen markets and rich millions more users.

The tie up marks just one piece of ByteDance’s broader push into the fintech sector.

Last year, users around the globe spent $3.4 billion on TikTok, up from $2 billion in 2021. Spending in the US more than tripled to $670 million from the year before, according to data from analytics firm Sensor Tower.

J.P. Morgan’s role in the push is to help ByteDance streamline these transactions by perfecting the way payments are sent and received.

The Chinese tech firm also wants one centralised bank account for more than a dozen of its products, including TikTok and its Chinese-based sister app Douyin.

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A number of J.P. Morgan executives have been poached by ByteDance for its global payments team.

It hasn’t been revealed just how long the two companies have been working together, but a case study from J.P. Morgan describes the work it has done so far on the tie up.

It claims the US-bank has built “a real-time payments infrastructure” for ByteDance that now allows its users “to be paid instantaneously and directly into their bank accounts at any day or time,” an improvement on its previous outdated e-wallets system.

The J.P. Morgan technology, enabled in the US and Europe, now “covers approximately one-fifth of TikTok’s 1 billion active users worldwide.”

It also “allows real-time exchange of data between ByteDance and J.P. Morgan” so that ByteDance can “see and monitor payments,” the memo says.

The companies’ partnership has raised security fears in the US, with the former National Security Agency general counsel Glenn Gerstell claiming that helping ByteDance move into payments when it already controls a large amount of the space with Alibaba’s Alipay and Tencent’s Tenpay, used with WeChat, is a slippery and potentially dangerous slope.



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