First Data helps bring Alipay to the United States
Payments only available for Chinese customers right now.
Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba has partnered with global technology provider First Data to bring its mobile payment solution, Alipay, to the United States. However, this innovation isn’t for US customers.
From November, Chinese tourists visiting the United States will be able to use Alipay when shopping at four million retail locations. Stores using First Data’s Clover terminals will be the first to accept Alipay.
The Alipay app will identify participating merchants based on the user’s location. There’ll also be in-store signage and in-app discounts, coupons and other promotions available before, during and after their visit.
The United States is popular among Chinese holiday and business travelers, with Ant Financial Services Group, parent company to Alipay, projecting $40 billion in spending through 2017.
“There are more than 450 million loyal Alipay users in China and roughly two million of those users visit the United States each year,” First Data CEO Frank Bisignano said.
Given shopping is one of the most common tourist activities, the ability for Chinese customers to make payments via the Alipay app reduces the need to carry large amounts of cash or use international credit cards, which often charge hefty foreign exchange fees and suffer high decline rates.
A recent survey conducted by finder.com found that in 2016, the majority of Americans (57%) used mobile payment services like Venmo, Facebook Messenger, Google Wallet, Apple Passbook and Chirpify to send and receive money, substantially more than any other means of transferring finances.
It should be noted that Alipay is currently restricted to Chinese customers.