Retail in Asia

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Alipay targets Chinese tourists with US payment deals


China’s Alipay is expanding its mobile payment app service into the United States through partnerships with payment processors First Data and Verifone, the latest deals in a global strategy to reach Chinese consumers travelling abroad.

Alipay, which counts 450 million active users in China, is the top mobile payments player there. It has begun actively expanding outside China over the past year via partnerships in Asia and Europe.

Instead of seeking to go head to head with major payments players outside its home market, Alipay targets the fast growing Chinese tourism market, which numbered 117 million travellers in 2014, according to the United Nations World Tourism Organisation, and is forecast to double by 2020.

SEE ALSO: Alipay expands payment services in HK  

Through the Verifone deal announced on Monday, Alipay is targeting top-tier merchants across retail, luxury goods, health supplement and department stores.

Verifone supplies more than 29 million payment devices and terminals worldwide. First Data serves more than six million business locations.

Alipay and rival WeChat, a unit of Tencent, together make up 90 per cent of the Chinese mobile payments market, with gross merchandise value estimated at more than US$1 trillion last year.

Sabrina Peng, president of Alipay International, said they are targeting 2 billion users in the next 10 years.

French payment terminal supplier Ingenico announced in August an expanded deal with Alipay to allow merchants across Europe to use Ingenico’s payment gateway to accept payments from Alipay users visiting the region.

The Alipay service is also being integrated into terminals from Concardis and Wirecard, German payment providers, as well as British startup Zapper to allow Chinese tourists to use QR code.

(Source: SCMP)