Innovations in payment technology and global ecommerce in recent years are driving the rapid growth of the PRC third-party payments industry. According to Frost & Sullivan, we remain at the forefront of the industry, as evidenced by many of our notable industry “firsts” including the following:
we launched the first customized payment solution for the airline ticketing industry by connecting airlines, ticketing agencies and customers, thereby significantly improving settlement efficiency;
we were the first third-party payment service provider to be authorized by the CSRC to offer payment and settlement services for fund sales;
we were among the first companies to obtain the payment license from the PBOC;
we were the first to build an ISO network for the distribution of POS services,reaching millions of micro and small merchants across China in a cost-effective manner;
we were the first to offer account management services for Internet finance providers;
we became the first third-party payment service provider to apply web crawler technology and big data analytics in risk management in relation to Internet finance providers;
we were among the first to provide same-day settlement services through our close cooperation with UnionPay, backed by our advanced risk management and big data analytics capabilities;
As a leader in the PRC third-party payments industry, we are well-positioned to capture opportunities in the market to develop more diverse and client-centric payment and fintech enabling services.
We provide comprehensive payment services and solutions to micro and small merchants and industry verticals. According to Frost & Sullivan, we are one of the 16 third-party payment service providers in China that are capable of processing a combination of POS, Internet, mobile and crossborder payments. Our payment solutions enable clients to offer their customers a seamless, convenient and safe way to pay regardless of whether such payments are made in-store, online, or on-the-go.
Leveraging our industry leading expertise in payment and related technologies, we provide fintech enabling services primarily to Internet finance providers and commercial banks. In particular, we leveraged our years of technical expertise in managing our client accounts to design and commercialize the account management systems for Internet finance providers in China which integrate our payment solutions with their existing systems. According to Frost & Sullivan, we are the largest third-party payment service provider to Internet finance providers in terms of number of clients.
Through our extensive ISO network, efficient direct sales force and channel partners, we have reached a broad merchant client base and effectively covered select industry verticals.
According to Frost & Sullivan, we were the first third-party payment service provider to build an ISO network for POS services, which gained us a significant number of micro and small merchants across China in a cost-effective manner. Our third-party ISO network covers over 40% of approximately 300 prefecture-level cities in China.
Our strong direct sales force focuses on key industries, such as Internet finance and airline ticketing, including their upstream and downstream market participants. To date, we have provided payment and fintech enabling services to over 1,500 Internet finance providers and 6,500 companies in various industry verticals.
We started in 2017 to partner with leading SaaS service providers to integrate our payment services into their solutions and leverage their distribution channels and client base to conduct marketing and develop merchants. We are also in close collaboration with PRC commercial banks to jointly develop high-value merchants.
We provide comprehensive services and solutions to clients of different sizes and industries through a single, integrated technological and operating platform. This platform is highly scalable, enabling us to efficiently manage, update and maintain our technology infrastructure and increase processing capacity and speed and realize significant operating leverage. This platform also enables us to innovate, develop and deploy new services and provides us with significant economies of scale.
Our business is driven by technology and our success depends on our research and development capabilities.
We leveraged our research and development capability to form a solid foundation for our technology infrastructure. All of our principal information technology systems, such as our bank-grade IT infrastructure, enterprise-grade account system and smart payment gateway system, are developed in-house. Supported by our technology infrastructure, we can effectively and securely process millions of payments daily, while complying with applicable regulations and minimizing the risk of fraud. In addition, we are the first PRC third-party payment service provider to partner with Alibaba Cloud, a leading cloud service provider in China, to expand our processing capacity and flexibility.
We have built a proprietary technology-driven risk management system to effectively manage and mitigate risks inherent in our business to protect us, our clients and our partners, as well as to comply with regulatory requirements. The system addresses a variety of risks including fraud, money laundering, legal and compliance, IT, liquidity and operational risks.
We use data analytics in our real-time risk monitoring systems to quickly identify and intercept suspicious and fraudulent transactions. Due to our effective fraud risk management, our impairment of other receivables, primarily representing our impairment of chargebacks caused by fraudulent transactions, decreased from RMB70.7 million in 2015 to RMB43.6 million in 2016, and further decreased to RMB31.6 million in 2017.
We use data analytics in our real-time risk monitoring systems to quickly identify and intercept suspicious and fraudulent transactions.
Our management team has extensive experience in both technology and financial services industries. Our workforce is professionally trained and innovative. In addition, we have a number of talent nurturing and retention programs to ensure a strong and sustainable workforce.