Alipay, Alibaba’s payment service, is advancing its pawns in Europe. Ant Financial, the subsidiary of the e-commerce giant which publishes it, has signed a partnership with the German company Wirecard, specializing in financial services. The objective is to allow Chinese tourists to pay for their purchases during their stay in Europe, directly using their smartphone and the Alipay application.
European merchants who use a point-of-sale system will be able to cash customers by simply scanning a barcode displayed on the customer’s phone. Another advantage for consumers, the two companies explain that they will be able to pay for their purchases without having to worry about exchange costs.
400 million active users in China
“Our customers have great confidence in our brands and Alipay is essential in their daily lives. We are therefore confident that many users will use our new convenient, cashless offer when traveling in Europe, ”said Rita Liu, Director of Alipay in Europe. Alipay claims 400 million active users in China and a 50% market share in online payments and 80% in mobile payments in the country.
“With our innovative ConnectedPOS technology, we can easily integrate Alipay payments in Europe without the need to modify the point of sale software or terminal infrastructure,” said Jörn Leogrande, executive vice-present of mobile services at Wirecard. “After a successful start, we plan to expand our offering for Alipay customers, including for example integrated tax refund services.”