Alipay was launched in China in 2004 by Alibaba Group and its founder Jack Ma. It is an online payment platform and currently has about 400 Million users.
Bloomberg now reports that for the vast number of Chinese tourists visiting Europe, Alipay has started to make their lives as a tourist easier by signing deals with brick and mortar retailers in Europe to bulk up its offering for Chinese tourists and expats. It’s seeking to add extras to its mobile wallet app for Chinese travellers in France, the U.K., Germany and Italy.
About 120 million Chinese tourists traveled last year, and their most popular destinations outside Asia were France, Italy, Switzerland and Germany, data by the China Tourism Research Institute showed. They spent $875 each on average while traveling.
In a world where all roads lead to payments, Alipay’s latest initiatives show hand-holding customers through their purchases is a key function of the business. The end-game for these digital giants, regardless of which side of the globe they’re on, is to become an important driver of commerce and put themselves in a position to take a cut of transactions they help generate.