It is unbelievable that I can even buy street snacks with Alipay in Hangzhou.”
Alipay, one of China’s most po popular mobile payment apps, to took a big step toward globalizing in its services when it secured a th third-party payment license in Ho Hong Kong on Aug 25.
With this stored value facilities tie license, HongKong users can no now use Alipay’s e-wallet functions tio and enjoy merchant discounts. co
Although Alipay has been in th the Hong Kong market since 20 2007 and already works with ab about 6,000 merchants, including in department stores, hotels an and theme parks, its usage has la largely been limited to mainland la users due to Chinese central tra bank regulations, which all allow only people with a bank ca card issued in the Chinese mainland la to store credit in their ac accounts.
Peng Yijie, vice-president of An Ant Financial, a subsidary of e-c e-commerce giant Alibaba that op operates Alipay, said the company ny is eager to bring the cashless ex experience to Hong Kong, given th the southern city’s close connections tio with the mainland.
Alipay was started in 2004 and no now offers payment services at more than 80,000 overseas offline stores in 70 countries and regions.
The company also cooperates with ride-hailing app Uber in 69 nations and regions as well as Airbnb.
In August, Alipay reached an agreement with Munich Airport that allows Chinese tourists to make payments at the airport terminals by scanning an Alipay QR code on their mobile phones. Munich Airport is the first in Europe that supports payment services by Alipay.
Thepaymentservices provider has also signed agreements with a slew of physical stores, including upscale French department store Galeries Lafayette in Paris. According to the deal, Alipay will be available only toChinese tourists.
Statistics provided by Ant Financial showed that among the more than 50 nations and regions that offer departure tax refund policies, 24 of them support Alipay. The majority of those countries are key overseas destinations for Chinese travelers.
In addition to Alipay, Ant Financial’s other businesses are also making their way over China’s borders.
In February 2015, Ant Financial became a shareholder in Indian online payment platform Paytm.
After more than a year of development, users are now able to use the Indian version of Alipay to pay for rides in tuk-tuk taxis, and make payments at cafes, gas stations and movie theaters.
According to Ant Financial, the number of Paytm users soared more than fivefold from 20 million in February last year to the current 135 million, becoming the world’s fourthlargest e-wallet.
In November, Ant Financial and Korean Telecom launched K Bank, the first internet bank in South Korea.
“As a pioneer of China’s inclusive financing industry, Ant Financial looks to showcase China’s prowess to the world,” said Jing Xiandong, the company’s president.
He added that he believes China’s financing sector will play a big role in reducing poverty and helping to promote social equality globally.
Thomas Derksen, a German social media star in China