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Alipay deal makes shopping easier abroad

By ANGUS McNEICE | China Daily UK | Updated: 2017-10-06 17:11

Alipay, the Chinese payment platform, is to enable users of its digital wallet to make more mobile non-cash payments across Britain, Europe and the United States.

Alipay has expanded its partnership with Adyen, the Dutch company which provides online or in-store payment platforms for more than 4,500 businesses worldwide.

From this week, in-store payment terminals operated by Adyen's clients are now capable of generating QR codes compatible with the Alipay mobile app.

Myles Dawson, UK country manager at Adyen, said the move was driven by Alipay's continued expansion into the European market as well as merchant demand.

Adyen's retail partners include fashion brands Mango, Superdry, Crocs and River Island. The company also runs online and mobile payment operations for large tech companies including Facebook, Uber, Spotify and Netfl ix.

Alipay opened offices in London and Milan in 2015, and last year signed partnership deals with Barclays in the United Kingdom, BNP Paribas in France, UniCredit in Italy and SIX Group in Switzerland.

"We've integrated it into our platform and offered it out to all of our retailers,'' Dawson said. "We've got a strong base of customers in luxury retail, and they obviously have a big Chinese consumer base, so opening up this payment method in store attracts those shoppers."

Alipay was established by e-commerce giant Alibaba in 2004, since when it has become one of the world's largest third-party online payment systems, with more than 520 million active users.

More than 10 million outlets accept Alipay in China, where mobile wallets have swiftly become the preferred form of payment among urban consumers.

Whereas most payment terminals in China are capable of scanning a QR code generated by a mobile app, Adyen has reversed the system so retailers in Europe and the US will not have to update their hardware.

Souheil Badran, president of Alipay in North America, said: "Europe and the US are popular destinations for Chinese tourists, so it's vital that retailers are able to cater to their needs."

Under the new system, payment terminals will prompt a customer to press enter for Alipay, generating a QR code on the terminal screen which users can scan with their phones. The shopper then authorizes the payment on the Alipay app, completing the transaction.

Retailers must opt into the new system, and Adyen is in the process of informing its clients.

Dawson said Adyen and Alipay are looking to expand the system to Singapore, Canada and Australia.

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