Alipay, the world’s leading online and mobile payment platform, has reached an agreement with some of Europe’s top financial institutions in order to boost expansion on the continent. With over 450 million users, Alipay is looking to give its Chinese customers greater opportunities in Europe, while also giving European businesses more access to Chinese customers and businesses. Ant Financial Services Group, the parent company of Alipay, said they have entered partnerships with BNP Paribas, Barclays, UniCredit, and SIX Payment Services, which will allow 930,000 European merchants join their network. Alipay’s partnership with BNP Paribas will allow its users make payments via the bank’s merchant networks in France, and later on in other countries. The same arrangement has been reached with Barclays in UK. Alipay hopes that its customers will eventually be able to make payments through Barclaycard’s point-of-sale (POS) facilities. UniCredit will launch Alipay in Italy next year. SIX Payment Services will grant Alipay users access to its POS and e-commerce platforms across its Pan-European network.
“We are excited to be partnering with leading European financial institutions to enable our users to pay with Alipay in even more locations and scenarios across Europe,” said Douglas Feagin, Senior Vice President of Ant Financial and President of Alipay International. “Our users’ lifestyles are increasingly global, so it’s vital we are able to work with the leading payment providers across the world to bring our trusted and convenient services to Alipay users wherever and whenever they need them.”
“We already have partnerships with some of Europe’s most well-known retailers, which have proven extremely popular with traveling Chinese consumers. By working with financial institutions who already have a massive footprint in Europe, we are taking our presence in the continent to the next level,” Feagin said. Chinese tourists spent $215 billion abroad in 2015. It is hoped that the new deals will facilitate more spending in Europe and in other continents.