Alipay Wallet, the mobile payments app from Alibaba’s affiliate Ant Financial Services, has incorporated many new features that will upgrade it from a mobile wallet to a payments platform. The changes represent Ant financial larger move to accelerate Alipay’s commerce presence.
The new Alipay 9.0—which was formerly known as Alipay Wallet—includes a redesigned user interface as well as added functions geared to provide easy mobile access to purchase and pay for products and services from local restaurants, shops and other outlets, to obtain discount e-coupons, and share product recommendations and red envelopes with friends, among other features.
The app’s user interface, available for the iOS and Android operating systems, now comes with new features divided into two main tabs: merchants and friends
Merchants Tab: Through this tab, users can know the locations of retailers who support Alipay, get discounted coupons, and settle payments at merchants' e-shops via Alipay when shopping online. Payments can also be made by scanning barcodes or QR codes at cash registers. Local services will be available via Koubei, a recently launched joint venture between Alibaba Group and Ant Financial aimed at making local services more accessible through O2O (online-to-offline) e-commerce. KFC China and Walmart also accept Alipay at their check-out counters.
Friends Tab: This tab enables peer-to-peer transfer and an IOU tab allowing users to keep track of friendly loans. It allows users to communicate mainly on finance-related matters.
Alipay is contributing to the payments revolution in China in a big way. Alipay, Ant Financial’s market-leading e-payments provider has more than 400 million annual active users—80% of them active mobile users. According to BI Research, out of the total mobile payment volume of China, Alipay holds the largest share among the non-bank processors with an 82.3% holding.
“The new Alipay app is no longer a wallet,” Fan said, calling it a “super app” and a “platform which will change the way you shop, the way you spend and the way you manage your finances.” The latter by allowing mobile access to Ant Financial’s money market fund and other wealth management products.