Ali­pay’s in­ter­na­tional ex­pan­sion gath­ers pace

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - BUSINESS -

to Ali­pay. For Chi­nese peo­ple, traf­fic fines, re­mote med­i­cal di­ag­no­sis, mar­riage pre-reg­is­tra­tion, in­come tax fil­ings, doc­tor ap­point­ments and util­ity bill pay­ments... now need no more than a tap or a code scan on Ali­pay.

Zhe­jiang, among the wealth­i­est prov­inces, is home to Ali­pay. It is keen to em­brace dig­i­tal chan­nels so that cit­i­zens do not have to run an er­rand “for no more than once”, said Chen Guang­sheng, the pro­vin­cial govern­ment’s vice-sec­re­tary-gen­eral.

Cit­i­zens can ac­cess the plat­form via Ali­pay. Com­bin­ing lo­ca­tion-based ser­vices with the pay­ment func­tion, Ali­pay guides users through its “City Ser­vice” that ag­gre­gates civic affairs, and redi­rects them to re­spec­tive on­line pages to fill out in­for­ma­tion and make e-pay­ments.

Ali­pay is rapidly ex­pand­ing over­seas as a grow­ing num­ber of shop­ping-happy mid­dle-class Chi­nese travel abroad to snap up prod­ucts from lux­ury bags to high-end watches.

The pay­ment tool is ac­cepted at more than 120,000 mer­chants, in­clud­ing high-end shop­ping malls such as Har­rods and Print- emps, both mag­nets for Chi­nese con­sumers.

To serve wealth­ier Chi­nese buyers, Ali­pay in­tro­duced its pay­ment ser­vices at 10 ma­jor in­ter­na­tional air­ports in Germany, Ja­pan and New Zealand. De­par­ture tax re­funds pro­cessed by Ali­pay were also made avail­able in 23 coun­tries.

Ali­pay also signed a deal this May with US pay­ment pro­cess­ing firm First Data that will al­low its ser­vice to be used at points-of-sale of more than 4 mil­lion re­tail part­ners in the coun­try.

Also in May, Car­ni­val Corp’s first and largest brand in China, the Costa Cruises, said it will give pas­sen­gers the op­tion to use their ex­ist­ing Ali­pay ac­counts as a pay­ment method for cabin fo­lios.

All on­board spend­ing, in­clud­ing shop­ping, leisure ac­tiv­i­ties, ex­cur­sions, food and drinks, will be added to each guest’s cabin fo­lio when the pur­chase is made, and then cleared on a nightly ba­sis via their Ali­pay ac­count.

The com­pany has a vi­sion to serve 2 bil­lion global cus­tom-

num­ber of mer­chants that have ac­cepted Ali­pay across the world

ers in the next decade, with more than 60 per­cent of users from outside the Chi­nese main­land, ac­cord­ing to Dou­glas Fea­gin, se­nior vice-pres­i­dent of Ant Fi­nan­cial.

PRO­VIDED TO CHINA DAILY

An in­ter­na­tional stu­dent from Ro­ma­nia uses Ali­pay app on his mo­bile phone at a store in Bei­jing.

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