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Alipay review: What is it and how does it work?

Alipay is the world’s largest mobile payment platform, with more than 1.2 billion customers worldwide. Users are predominantly in China, where Alipay was founded in 2004. Can you use it in the UK? Here’s what you need to know.

What is Alipay?

Operated by Ant Group (an affiliate of Alibaba Group), Alipay is a payment platform. Its app features a digital wallet which lets you pay using QR codes. However, it’s not massively available in the UK yet.

Over in China, the app is a “lifestyle enabler”. It doesn’t just manage money, but also lets users book appointments, taxis, hotel trips and more.

How does Alipay work?

As with Apple Wallet, Alipay users set up a digital wallet and can then add cards and money directly to their Alipay account.

When they want to pay for something they just present their QR payment code to the cashier, who scans the code and then the payment is made.

In the UK, Alipay made a deal with Barclaycard, to help UK retailers increase sales from Chinese tourists who want to pay using the Alipay platform.

The agreement, announced in 2019, allows retailers to use their existing sale systems to accept in-store Alipay payments. At the time, Barclaycard said it was in discussions with around 70 retailers interested in adopting the tech.

  • Warning: Late repayments can cause you serious money problems. For help, contact the Money Advice Service.

Alipay frequently asked questions

How do I contact customer service?
Alipay can be contacted via its Business Support Team email at global.service@alipay.com or via the Technical Support team at overseas_support@service.alibaba.com.

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