(Yicai Global) March 17 -- Ofo Bicycle Co. reached an agreement with Ant Financial Services Group's Sesame Credit to launch a new 'deposit-free' system, the Chinese bicycle-sharing firm said this week.
Ofo users in the Shanghai area will be able to enjoy riding services without paying a USD14 (CNY99) deposit as long as they have a Sesame Credit rating of more than 650 points, per the agreement.
Major bike-sharing services in the Chinese market provide require riders to put down a deposit of CNY99 to CNY299.
"Whether in terms of economic development or the user's norm, or the credit standing, Shanghai is in the forefront of the country," sadi Zhang Siding, Ofo's chief executive. "We hope that through the Shanghai region and Sesame Credit cooperation we can establish benchmarks, and establish a demonstration role."
"In 10 years, all Chinese cities will become a city of credit and 'enjoy first and make payment later' will become the standard," Sesame Credit General Manager Hu Tao said. "There will be a big change in people's way of life."
Sesame Credit has launched 'deposit-free' services for areas including hotel, house rental and car rental. More than 80 million deposit-free transactions were made under Sesame Credit's agreements with other groups last year, and the number of customer defaults was less than 50, Hu said.
Sesame Credit is part of the financial services platform Ant Financial Services Group owned by China's e-commerce giant Alibaba Group. This platform makes credit ratings based on Alibaba's e-commerce business data and other financial information from sources including credit card repayments; online shopping; money transfers; financial management; water, electricity and gas payments; house rental information; relocation history and social networks.