Alipay targets 1 million offline merchants

Alibaba Group’s financial arm, Alipay, aims to partner with 1 million offline merchants over the next three years so Chinese tourists can use its mobile wallet for shopping overseas.
With more than 450 million users, Alipay had about 62 per cent of the mobile payments service market last year, according to iResearch.
Users can link their bank accounts to the service and use the Alipay app to pay for in-store purchases by having a cashier scan a QR code.
Alipay raised US$4.5 billion from investors in April to bankroll its global expansion, with the deal valuing the company at $60 billion.
“Our users at home in China are comfortable with using Alipay in their everyday lives. We want to extend the convenience to them when they travel abroad,” says Alipay International VP Sabrina Peng.
Alipay rolled out cross-border payments last year, allowing Chinese tourists with an Alipay account to pay at 70,000 overseas merchants via the app. About 17 per cent of the merchants are in Southeast Asia, including Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand.
China is the world’s largest mobile payments market, processing $235 billion in 2015, according to Euromonitor International.
Alipay rival Tenpay also introduced overseas payments last year for its WeChat Wallet service, built into the messaging app WeChat. Users can make payments in more than 20 countries in a range of currencies including the Japanese yen, New Zealand dollar and Korean won.
A World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) report has found that Chinese tourists spent $215 billion abroad in 2015, making them the biggest spenders globally.

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