LONDON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Alipay, the world’s leading payment and lifestyle platform, today announced a new target to support 10 million small and medium enterprises in Europe over the next five years, through innovative technology that will empower these merchants to better serve and sell to over 2 billion potential consumers travelling to the region from around the world.
The strategy to support these merchants was unveiled today during the Alipay Partners Global Summit held in London. This includes an expanded collaboration with the largest European acquirer Worldline, as well as a new initiative to serve airport shops around the world through in-app mini programs.
“Our aim is to improve the way in which individuals and businesses buy, sell and receive payments, and to do this, we need to draw upon the strength of our partnerships,” said Eric Jing, Chairman and CEO of Ant Financial, operator of Alipay. “Our growth has only been possible due to the network of partners we have established, and working together, we will make it easier for anyone to do business anywhere.”
“Our innovative solutions will continue to help merchants in Europe better serve the growing numbers of tourists as well as e-commerce shoppers coming to the region from all over the world,” Eric said.
Alipay is China's most popular digital payment service, according to market researcher Statista, with 87 percent of survey respondents in the country aged between 18 and 69 reporting that they use Alipay for their digital financial needs. Alipay currently serves over 1.2 billion users together with local e-wallet partners in the Republic of Korea, Thailand, Malaysia, the Philippines, Indonesia, India, Bangladesh, and Pakistan.
Alipay is continually working with its partners around the world, leveraging technology to build a seamless ecosystem that allows merchants to better serve their customers, which will in return help boost their sales.
In a report published this year, Nielsen found that over 93% of Chinese tourists would be more willing to make purchases with their mobile phones and would even increase their spending if the option were available, while 60% of merchants surveyed that adopted Alipay reported growth in foot traffic and revenue.
Currently, Alipay collaborates with more than 120 financial institutions in Europe and is constantly adding more and more partnerships with travel service agencies and other types of third-party service providers. This will help merchants deliver enhanced experiences to their customers as they seize the growth opportunities in the global travel market.
More details on the new innovations unveiled today by Alipay:
- The first is the expanded partnership with Worldline, an existing acquirer for Alipay that will work with Alipay’s e-wallet partners from Asia for the first time, allowing European merchants to accept payments from them through their Alipay-enabled points of sale. This multi-wallet acceptance means merchants across Europe will be able to drive increased footfall and spending from tourists from across Asia.
Additionally, Alipay has developed mini programs to enhance tourists’ experience at airports around the world, offering services such as convenient payments and personalized recommendations. Alipay Mini Programs officially launched in July 2018, opening up the service to independent programmers and enterprises to create interesting and useful “lite apps”.
- How it works: The first airport mini program was launched by Hong Kong International Airport, allowing orders to be fulfilled as quickly as 90 minutes from ordering, so travellers can shop online and buy at their leisure, well before they reach the airport, and pick up their duty-free purchases as soon as they arrive.
- Additional features: The tailor-made airport mini program provides a range of services including flight information, transfer and entry tips, and other practical features including an instant chat within the mini program. It is also embedded with Alipay’s scenario solutions such as online transportation reservation and scan to order dining, as well as reminders of estimated time through security and boarding notices just by inputting flight details. Users can also receive electronic coupons and membership benefits offered by Alipay, as well as one-stop information and optimised route recommendations in the airport, allowing them to enjoy the airport’s services with ease.
Operated by Ant Financial Services Group, Alipay is the world’s leading payment and lifestyle platform. Launched in 2004, Alipay serves over 1.2 billion users with its local e-wallets partners as of June 2019. Over the years, 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. Alipay’s in-store payment service covers over 50 markets across the world, and tax reimbursement via Alipay is supported in 35 markets. Alipay works with over 250 overseas financial institutions and payment solution providers to enable cross-border payments for Chinese travelling overseas and overseas customers who purchase products from Chinese e-commerce sites. Alipay currently supports 27 currencies.