AliPay Expands to Four Million U.S. Merchants

  • Grace Noto
  • May 9, 2017
  • 0

Alipay is now available at the POS at millions more U.S. businesses.

Chinese mobile payments behemoth Alipay continues targeting North American growth by leveraging its existing partnerships. The world’s largest digital payment platform is expanding its pre-existing deal with commerce technology provider First Data, the companies announced yesterday.

The initial agreement was launched in 2016, where First Data piloted Alipay to a select number of its businesses, marketing the service to Chinese travelers in the U.S.

“Chinese shoppers traveling to the U.S. use their Alipay wallet for transactions,” Anish Bahl, CEO of Acculynk (a technology company recently acquired by First Data) told Bank Innovation, adding that during the pilot program, “the merchants were happy, the consumers were happy, Alipay was happy.”

Now, the companies are bringing the mobile payment solution to First Data’s 4 million U.S. businesses, beginning with those that already utilize the company’s Clover POS system.

Souheil Badran, president of Alipay North America, told Bank Innovation:

For years now, First Data has established itself as the essential commerce partner for technology companies looking to provide a mobile wallet solution to their user bases. This collaboration builds upon First Data and Alipay’s existing partnership.

First Data will integrate Alipay as a payment option in their Clover device, which will be available to all existing and new merchants using Clover.  Alipay will be part of default product across all Clover devices. Merchants will see consolidated reporting with minimum integration effort.

The partnership will combine Alipay’s digital payment and money transfer capabilities with the tokenization capabilities of Acculynk. The company will route each Alipay transaction, providing additional security by tokenizing the Alipay QR code that is generated each time for settlement at the POS.

“This is invisible to the merchant, they don’t have to make any changes,” Bahl told Bank Innovation, adding that the additional security will also be invisible to the consumer—no awkward, timely processing of payments, in other words.

With over 450 million consumers worldwide, it’s safe to call Alipay a popular service. As it expands, the company is keeping its focus on serving its Chinese consumer base.

Badran told Bank Innovation:

Our focus will continue to be on enabling the Chinese consumer to use Alipay at U.S. merchants. Alipay is a lifestyle application platform offering not only payment processing but also financial services, social and commerce use cases. Alipay is part of our consumers’ daily life. The application is available across all mobile and web platforms without tying users to a specific mobile operating system.

Opening the service to the POS of First Data merchant-partners will allow the millions of Chinese customers visiting North America the ability to continue paying with their “lifestyle app” (which allows its users to book hotel rooms, or make doctor’s appointments, in addition to payments).

“The Alipay wallet [as it is] in China is exactly how it’s going to be here,” Bahl said. “They don’t want one business model for China, one model for the U.S., one for XYZ—the customer experience will be exactly the same.”

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