Today, December 14, is the day when collaboration on innovative POS payment acceptance based on Internet technologies and value-added services in Europe between the Wirecard Group and Alipay (a unit of Ant Financial, a company related to the Alibaba Group) is set to begin. The partnership will enable the brands and retailers to tap into the Chinese tourism market, worth US$ 165 billion in 2014, as stated in the official press release, and provide a channel for them to engage with Chinese tourists.
Alipay’s mobile wallet is widely being used for payments in online shops and at the POSs in China. Now, Chinese users will be able to pay with their smartphone and Alipay app at authorized POS retailers in Europe by using integrated barcode payment functionality from Wirecard, without the hassle of incurring currency exchange fees. Wirecard is a full-service provider for merchants, offering POS infrastructure, payment processing and acquiring services.
Rita Liu, Head of Europe at Alipay, commented, "In Wirecard, we have found a strong and flexible partner. Our plan is to enable an easy rollout of our payment and value-added services solution to various merchants in Europe. Our customers have very high trust in our brand as Alipay is an essential part of their daily life. We are therefore confident that many users will be using our new, convenient and cashless offer when traveling to Europe."
Wirecard offers an innovative technology for merchants that complements traditional POS terminals. The entire payment process of Alipay is handled by Wirecard's ConnectedPOS technology. Merchants can have the solution installed either directly on their POS system or externally between the POS system and the receipt printer. The solution makes the entire checkout process quick and easy:
Jörn Leogrande, Executive Vice President at Mobile Services with Wirecard, shared his excitement about the partnership in the release, "We are proud to be one of the first partners of Alipay for POS acceptance in Europe. With our innovative ConnectedPOS technology, we can easily integrate Alipay payments in Europe without the need to alter POS software or terminal infrastructure. Alipay is the preferred online and mobile payment tool for many Chinese users and merchants. This cooperation unlocks further sales potential from the growth market of Chinese tourists and business people. After a successful start, we plan to expand our offer for Alipay customers, for example by including integrated tax refund services."
Some of the advantages of collaboration and solution listed by Wirecard are:
- More than 400 million Chinese people use the Alipay app
- 100 million transactions per day
- Increasing numbers of Chinese tourists in Germany (around 2 million in 2014)
- Contract with the German company Wirecard, no Chinese account necessary
- Quick process with no implementation effort
- A VAT refund receipt can be generated in seconds
- The Alipay app can be used as a marketing channel with a built-in store finder