Chinese tourists to pay for things abroad will become much easier: starting this summer, Chinese consumers will be able to use Alipay in the U.K., Germany, France and Italy, as part of Alipay’s global expansion.
More exactly, Alipay the phone app will recognize where the Chinese Alipay user is in Europe and send notifications about where to eat, shopping offers and places to see. There are also user reviews on the app. When a user attempts to pay, a barcode will be shown on a person’s device which the merchant can scan.
Alipay is one of China’s biggest payment services and competes with Tencent’s WeChat Payment. Alipay is deeply ingrained in the lives of Chinese consumers and is used to pay for items in-store and online for goods and services ranging from taxis to restaurants and clothing.
Alibaba is hoping that its active Alipay users, which now total 450 million, according to the company, will continue to use the app abroad allowing the company to take advantage of the increasing number of Chinese tourists who are spending more.
“The vision is targeting two billion people within next five to ten years, not only in China but other countries too,” Sabrina Peng, president of Alipay International, told CNBC at the Money 2020 fintech conference in Copenhagen on Tuesday.
Chinese tourists spent $215 billion abroad last year, a 53 percent rise from 2014, according to the World Travel & Tourism Council. Alipay is hoping that much of this spending will be through its app.
Partnerships will be key for the platform in order to get merchants sending through offers and deals. Alipay does not compete directly with the likes of Samsung Pay and Apple Pay as both services just allow people to purchase items with their phone. Instead, with the focus on allowing merchants to use Alipay to help market to customers and learn their behavior, Ant Financial sees it as a tool to drive revenues.
“Merchants are not crying for another payment solution. What they want is more business. We are not a payment service, we are more than payments. Payment is very critical part of the circle, it is not the only part of the circle,” Peng told CNBC.
“For merchants it’s the same story, they want to know Chinese consumers, Asian consumers, Japanese, South Korean, Indians, but it’s hard for them to know their overseas customer because they lack a platform. That’s what we are doing: connecting consumers and merchants together to help them connect better.”
Alipay Built the Path to Chinese Customers
Whether you are a foreign offline retailer, or you are in charge of your cross border eCommerce, China market will always be too good to ignore. What’s better, Alipay will solve the payment issues when it comes to payment settlements.
As a leading solution provider in China, we are more than happy to “build the bridge” between your business and China market. Feel free to contact TMO Group if you are interested.