The Chinese mobile payments provider Alipay, which claims to have 600 million users, has become available this week via partnership with payments processor First Data to about 35,000 North American merchants as a payment method. This will be rolled out to around 4 million merchants over time.
Travel companies already adopting Alipay include the Millennium Hotels & Resorts chain, looking to target the growing numbers of Chinese tourists coming to the States who prefer use familiar payments when overseas.
Approximately $11 trillion in transactions per year are mobile payments processed by Alibaba’s Alipay, based on QRcodes scanned by a smartphone camera, cutting out traditional banks and card processors such as Visa and Mastercard.
There are already Alipay payment service providers working with US retailers and restaurants, including duty free outlets at airports. Others are also becoming China-Ready, including KLM Airlines which has added Alipay’s main rival Weixin Pay to its systems’ which has seen 30% take-up from its Chinese customers.