The Chinese payments giant continues to look beyond China with its European expansion
Online payments giant Alipay has unveiled a series of partnerships with some of Europe’s largest financial firms, bringing its payment service and network further into the continent.
Alipay will work with Barclays, in the UK to provide Alipay customers with digital ways to pay within British borders and other parts of Europe, with a long-term goal to enable customers to pay using Barclaycard’s point of sale systems.
Other partnerships include ones with BNP Paribas to facilitate Alipay payments in France, UniCredit with the goal of launching Alipay in Italy next year, and SIX Payment Services to integrate Alipay services into its payment application to facilitate both point of sale and e-commerce payments across SIX’s network.
Alipay aims at Europe
“We are excited to be partnering with leading European financial institutions to enable our users to pay with Alipay in even more locations and scenarios across Europe,” said Douglas Feagin, Senior Vice President of Ant Financial and President of Alipay International.
“We already have partnerships with some of Europe’s most well-known retailers, which have proven extremely popular with traveling Chinese consumers. By working with financial institutions who already have a massive footprint in Europe, we are taking our presence in the continent to the next level.”
Launched in China back in 2004, Alipay made its foray into Europe in October 2015 through a partnership with European retailers. The expansion of the Chinese payment service in to Europe effectively makes it easier for Chinese visitors to pay for products and services with their Alipay accounts and the use of a barcode-scanning method that is used for payments in China.
The expansion of Alipay into Europe allows the company to see its services used by its Chinese customers abroad rather than lose out to customers opting for cash or an alternative payment system when abroad.
For European companies the partnership between the financial institutions and Alipay gives them access to some of Alipay’s 450 million active users, thereby giving them more people to easily sell their products and services to.
The high volumes of Chinese visitors and tourists to Europe could be very lucrative to both Alipay and businesses operation on the continent.
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