November 20, 2013
According to estimates by McKinsey, Internet retail sales in China are expected to reach $395 Bn in 2015 three times the total in 2011. The Chinese internet giant, Alibaba announced on 16th November 2013 that it is entering into a partnership with Yintai, a big Chinese retailer to enable NFC payments at its retail stores via Alipay.
Alibaba Holding Group Ltd is a network of e-commerce B2B businesses constituting an online marketplace, shopping search engine, retail and payment platforms and more. It is led by chairman Jack Ma, whose net worth is $3.6 Bn as compiled by Bloomberg.
Alipay is an online payment services provider founded by the Alibaba group in 2004. The system allows individuals and businesses to make payments online in a secure manner. Alipay’s users are primarily buyers and sellers engaging in e-commerce transactions. Alipay has partnered with some leading Chinese banks including Bank of China, China Construction Bank, Agricultural Bank of China, the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China and Visa.
Starting November 17th, users of Alipay can purchase products at any of Yintai’s 37 well equipped retail stores. The payment can be done by opening the Alipay e – wallet app on their smart phones and swiping it over a sensor.
Alibaba had announced last week that the e-wallet app, Alipay had a registered user base of 100 Mn. This is Alibaba’s first major entry into the offline payments space. As far as the finace sector is concerned, Alibaba’s most significant move has been a money market fund launched in June called Yuebao. The fund currently possesses 13 Mn users and assets worth $5.9 Bn.
Recently, Alipay also partnered with Universal Air Travel Plan (UATP) to allow more Chinese travelers to buy plane tickets online without a debit or credit card. With this collaboration, Alipay gains access to the many existing resources of restaurants, airlines, hotels, travel agencies & car rental companies on UATP's list.