Ali­pay for­ays into Europe

That's China - - Goings On -

Ali­pay, an af­fil­i­ate of Jack Ma's Alibaba port­fo­lio, is mak­ing sub­stan­tial pro­gresses in its ex­pan­sion in to Euro­pean mar­kets with the un­veil­ing of its part­ner­ship with In­genico Group SA. To be­gin with, the move prom­ises to link hun­dreds of con­ti­nen­tal re­tail­ers with China's big­gest mo­bile wal­let in pop­u­lar des­ti­na­tions.

The agree­ment “will fa­cil­i­tate al­liances as well as pro­vide a tech­ni­cal piece of the puz­zle”, Dou­glas Fea­gin, who heads Ali­pay's in­ter­na­tional busi­ness, said in an in­ter­view, adding that “Ali­pay is seek­ing part­ners from duty-free shops to lux­ury and depart­ment stores”.

"It's a very large mar­ket for us given most trav­ellers are Ali­pay cus­tomers al­ready," Fea­gin said in Paris.

Ali­pay is tar­get­ing the 120 mil­lion Chi­nese peo­ple who trav­eled and spent $875 each on av­er­age dur­ing their trips last year.

In­genico, whose pay­ment ter­mi­nals are in thou­sands of on­line and phys­i­cal stores in 150 coun­tries, also man­ages cross-bor­der elec­tronic trans­ac­tions for Ali­pay and its par­ent com­pany Alibaba.

Ali­pay also an­nounced to start charg­ing fees for trans­fer­ring more than 20,000 yuan ($3,000) to bank ac­counts. Tak­ing ef­fect on Oct 12, the new pol­icy re­quires Ali­pay users to pay a fee of 0.1 per­cent when trans­fer­ring money from the app's built-in dig­i­tal wal­let to a bank ac­count. The charge will be levied on with­drawals above the thresh­old, with the min­i­mum fee for each trans­fer set at 0.1 yuan.

With more than 450 mil­lion ac­tive users, Ali­pay said the new pol­icy aims to off­set "rapidly in­creas­ing op­er­at­ing costs".

Money trans­fers be­tween Alibaba's on­line in­vest­ment fund Yu'E Bao and Ali­pay will re­main free of charge, said the com­pany.

Ali­pay is not the first e-wal­let to charge fees. Ear­lier this year, China’s most pop­u­lar mo­bile mes­sag­ing soft­ware WeChat also an­nounced a 0.1 per­cent fee for money trans­fers over 1,000 yuan. (Source: China Daily)

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