Possible Alibaba partnership could help further reach of Apple Pay to Eastern markets
Apple has signed up more than one million credit card subscribers to its Apple Pay service, which lets users pay for goods using their smartphone.
Despite a few hiccups, notably the emergence of a competing technology which has snapped up several major retailers, Apple Pay has hit the milestone in just three days, marking a significant breakthrough in customer awareness of the platform.
Speaking at the WSJDLive tech conference in California yesterday, Apple CEO Tim Cook said that the feedback the company had had about Apple Pay was “overwhelmingly positive and enthusiastic”, as the service has now become larger than all other US contactless platforms combined.
“We’re just getting started but the early ramp looks fantastic,” he added.
The news came alongside increased speculation that Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba is preparing to start working with Apple Pay.
Also speaking at the WSJDLive conference, Alibaba CEO Jack Ma said that it made sense for his company’s Alipay Wallet mobile system to partner with Apple Pay.
“I hope we can do something together,” said Ma, adding that it should be a “marriage” that both sides want.
Cook subsequently confirmed he would like to work with Alibaba and that he would be meeting with Ma later this week to discuss potential partnerships. “We’re going to talk about getting married later this week,” he said.
Ma stated that Alibaba’s payment service, Alipay, currently has over 300 million active users, allowing users to pay for such diverse services as hospital fees and rental cars.
Alibaba’s flotation last month was the biggest in history, raising around $25 billion, making the company larger than both Amazon and eBay, with a market capitalisation of around $240 billion.