October 21, 2017
Brace, PayPal, Google, Apple, Samsung, and anyone railroading customers with proprietary mobile wallets and other payments products. Alipay comes to North America. Slowly, but confidently, Alipay builds its partnerships to storm the market.
Chinese payments giants are paving the highway into the US payments industry, and someone (namely, Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, and Android Pay) ought to get nervous. Alipay has resources and domestic experience to potentially dominate any market.
Operated by Ant Financial Services Group, Alipay is the world’s largest mobile and online payment platform. Launched in 2004, Alipay currently has over 520 million active users and over 200 domestic financial institution partners. Alipay has evolved from a digital wallet to a lifestyle enabler: users can hail a taxi, book a hotel, buy movie tickets, pay utility bills, make appointments with doctors, or purchase wealth management products directly from within the app.
In addition to online payments, Alipay is expanding to in-store offline payments both inside and outside of China. Over 10 million brick-and-mortar merchants now accept Alipay across China. Alipay’s in-store payment service covers more than 30 countries across the world, and tax reimbursement via Alipay is supported in 24 countries and regions. Alipay works with over 250 overseas financial institutions and payment solution providers to enable cross-border payments for Chinese traveling overseas and overseas customers who purchase products from Chinese e-commerce sites. Alipay currently supports 27 currencies.
"Alipay, one of the world’s leading digital payment platforms, has partnered with Poynt, the maker of the world’s first smart terminal, to enable Alipay’s more than 520 million registered users in China and beyond to pay with Alipay across all Poynt devices in North America.
Through the agreement, Alipay users visiting North America will enjoy a seamless, familiar checkout experience using the payment method that is most comfortable for them. Alipay is China's leading online payment provider and the primary means of online and mobile payments for Chinese consumers."
North American Bancard Holdings ($50 billion in payments processed for more than 310,000 businesses), a multi-faceted payment solutions provider, and Alipay announced that Alipay is now available on NAB's wholly owned Electronic Payment Exchange (EPX) processing platform through a variety of NAB-owned products, including gateways, terminals and mobile payment solutions.
Now, US merchants of all sizes can benefit by offering Alipay as a payment type in their stores.
The number of Chinese consumers visiting North America is predicted to grow to four million this year. In addition, the Chinese middle class is presently the single fastest-growing online consumer market in the world, estimated to grow to 600 million by 2020, and North American merchants will be well-positioned with this customer base if they are able to accept the preferred payment type of this consumer demographic whether in-store or online.
"Through our strong partnership with NAB, over 120,000 of NAB's PayAnywhere merchants are now enabled with Alipay which includes best-in-class support," said Souheil Badran, President of Alipay North America.
Alipay is enabled on the EPX processing platform and will be accessible to independent software vendors (ISVs) wanting to integrate with the technology in December 2017. PayAnywhere users are able to use a camera, or barcode scanner, to accept Alipay through both the mobile app and PayAnywhere Storefront. By the end of 2017, Alipay acceptance will be rolled out to all of NAB's semi-integrated MICROS terminals, along with their entire Ingenico terminal merchant base.
The taxi cabs in two popular US destinations have responded to the millions of Chinese tourists coming in every year. By next month, tens of thousands of cabs in New York City and Las Vegas will accept Alipay, China's nearly ubiquitous mobile payment mode.
This will apply to 2,100 taxis in Vegas by the end of October before another 14,000 in New York start accepting Alipay payment in November.
Alipay started its crusade earlier. In October 2016, Alipay partnered with Verifone, a world leader in payment and commerce solutions, to enable retailers in North America and Europe.
Using an mPOS solution to accept Alipay App payments at their stores, retailers can increase brand visibility, and drive traffic and sales through Alipay’s in-app marketing tool. With the Verifone e355 mPOS solution, retailers will be able to accept Alipay anywhere in the store and implement marketing campaigns targeting Chinese consumers who use the Alipay app.