LAS VEGAS, Nv., USA - Ant Financial Services Group (“Ant Financial”, or the “Company”), one of the world’s leading digital financial services providers and the operator of Alipay, announced today at Money 2020 its strategy to enable Alipay users and global merchants with hassle-free and data-driven in-store payment, as the Company begins its partnerships with First Data (NYSE: FDC) and Verifone (NYSE: PAY). The partnerships in the US are among many Ant Financial has initiated in the past 12 months in Europe, North America and Asia for building an open and mutually-beneficial ecosystem beyond China.
“Alipay is a popular lifestyle super app in China, providing not only payment but a wide range of day-to-day lifestyle services for over 450 million users,” Douglas Feagin, Senior Vice President of Ant Financial and Head of Alipay International said at a keynote speech at Money 2020. “In the past year, we have been extending convenient in-store payment services globally. Having First Data and Verifone to join the Ant Financial ecosystem with many other partners worldwide, Chinese visitors and tourists can pay and receive interactive information of global merchants from Europe to North America, from Korea and Japan to Southeast Asia. Merchants can understand the needs of Chinese visitors and tourists more via data analytics provided by Ant Financial and its partners.”
Since late 2014, Alipay has worked closely with local merchants at popular destinations for Chinese visitors and tourists, including Korea, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Macau. In March 2015, Alipay was accepted at approximately 15,000 retailers in those countries and regions. By end of September 2016, this network has expanded to over 80,000 retailers in 70 countries and regions, where restaurants, malls, duty free shops, amusement parks and O2O sharing platforms accept Alipay’s in-store and other offline payments. The countries and regions include US, UK, Germany, Australia, New Zealand, Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, Vietnam, Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan, Japan and Korea.
During the Golden Week holiday (October 1 to 7) in 2016, transaction volume processed by Alipay at overseas destinations increased by four times compared to the same period last year. The countries and regions seeing the largest number of Alipay transactions are, in order, Korea, Thailand, Hong Kong, Japan and Germany.
It has also extended to other popular destinations. For example, U.K.’s Harrods, the 182-year-old department store in Knightsbridge, London, began accepting Alipay in late September and many Chinese tourists paid with Alipay and enjoyed special discounts during the Golden Week holiday. “Harrods is delighted to be the first British luxury retailer to launch Alipay. We continue to strive to be ahead of the curve to ensure an exceptional experience for our customers. We have had a record Golden Week and a fantastic response from our Chinese customers to the launch of Alipay at Harrods,” Michael Ward, Managing Director of Harrods said. Along with Harrods, Selfridges, Holland & Barrett, and the Body Shop in the UK launched Alipay ahead of the Golden Week to capture more Chinese tourists to shop.
Meanwhile in the U.S., dozens of restaurants in New York and California began accepting Alipay in July 2016. By working closely with First Data and Verifone, Alipay is expanding its in-store payment across the continent. First Data serves over six million business locations globally while Verifone has over 29 million payment devices and terminals deployed worldwide.
“The US market is vital for Alipay, not only it is a popular destination of Chinese visitors and tourists,” Feagin said. “We aim to have at least one million merchants outside the Chinese Mainland to accept Alipay worldwide in three years. Working with our network of global partners like First Data and Verifone will help us achieve the goal.” Ant Financial has also announced the appointment of Souheil Badran as General Manager of Alipay North America, to further push its business in the U.S. and Canada to provide better services for Chinese Alipay users and local merchants.
Ant Financial is also working closely with Corcardis, Ingenico and Wirecard in Europe, with Counter Service and Paysbuy in Southeast Asia, with Recruit in Japan, and with KICC and ICB in Korea.
DFS Group, the world’s leading luxury travel retailer, announced in October that it will launch Alipay at San Francisco International Airport, while over a dozen airports joined Alipay’s “Future Airport” program, aiming to include Alipay as their trusted and reliable payment and lifestyle partner. The international airports joining the first phase of Alipay’s “Future Airport” program include Munich Airport, Singapore Changi Airport, Narita International Airport (Tokyo), Kansai International Airport (Osaka), Seoul Incheon International Airport, Auckland Airport, Suvarnabhumi Airport (Bangkok), Hong Kong International Airport, Taoyuan International Airport (Taipei), and Macau International Airport.
About Ant Financial
Ant Financial Services Group is focused on serving small and micro enterprises, as well as consumers. With the vision “to turn trust into wealth,” Ant Financial is dedicated to building an open ecosystem of Internet thinking and technologies while working with other financial institutions to support the future financial needs of society. Businesses operated by Ant Financial Services Group include Alipay, Ant Fortune, Zhima Credit, MYbank and Ant Financial Cloud.
For more information on Ant Financial, please visit our website at www.antgroup.com; or follow us on Twitter @AntFinancial.
Launched in 2004, Alipay currently has over 450 million active users. 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 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. Over 2,000,000 brick-and-mortar merchants now accept Alipay across China. As of June 2016, Alipay is supported in 70 overseas markets, with in-store payments covering more than 80,000 retail stores, and tax reimbursement via Alipay is supported in 24 countries and regions. Alipay works with over 40 overseas financial institutions and payment solution providers to enable cross-border payments for Chinese traveling overseas and overseas customers who purchase products from Chinese e-commerce sites.
Miranda Shek, Ant Financial
M: +86 186 1668 6252