The asian response to Paypal: Alipay
With the Alipay app you can pay phone and taxi, bills in restaurants and of course all online purchases. In addition, the app includes navigation hints, ratings and other links that offer an all-inclusive package for contactless payment. The Alipay app generates a QR code that is used for payment directly at the point of sale.
Alipay - Jewel of the Alibaba Empire
Alipay is a service of Ant Financial Services Group, which belongs to the Alibaba Group. The payment service was first introduced on Alibaba. com in 2004. In the online payment sector, Alipay now holds 50% of the total market share. The only competitors of Alipay are Wechat and Tencent. Paypal handles about half a trillion transactions per year in China, Alipay 4 trillion, the remainder of 8 trillion transactions make up the other competitors among themselves.
The financial world has been eagerly awaiting the expected IPO of Ant Financial for some time. The company would be at least as valuable there as Goldman Sachs. The Alibaba Group has been listed on the stock exchange since 2014. One third of the shares in Ant Financial are held by the parent company and founder Jack Ma. Jack Ma had hived off the payment service shortly before the IPO of the remaining company. Alipay, the jewel of the Alibaba Empire, is valued at $100 billion.
Expansion plans of Alipay
When Ant Financial Services Group wanted to take over the American financial services company MoneyGram, the purchase was banned by CFIUS (Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States), chaired by the US Treasury Secretary, in January 2018. A possible inspection of a Chinese company into American financial data seemed too tricky for the committee. The national security of the USA is endangered.
Also the promise of MoneyGram and Ant Financial to store US customer data only in the USA did not change the prohibition of CFIUS. It is still unclear whether the Chinese government will prevent Ant Financial from going public. Alipay is said to transmit unconditional payment data of its customers to the authorities. When Jack Ma went public with Alibaba, he chose New York because the transparency requirements in Hong Kong seemed too high to him. Ant Financial's expansion plans are therefore on the table. It is probably only a matter of time before Alipay conquers the European market.
In order that the 100,000 Chinese tourists who visit the Titlis in the Swiss Alps each year can easily pay for the local mountain railways, it has been possible to pay with Alipay since mid-January 2018. In Greece, where the number of Chinese visitors has risen by 400 percent in recent years, tourists from Asia have been able to pay with Alipay since the end of 2017. In branches of Rossmann, Printemps or The Body Shop, purchases can also be paid for with Alipay. In this case, the Chinese get a much better exchange rate than when paying by Mastercard or Visa.
A payment method for private customers in Europe?
The acquisition of European consumers as customers and users for the settlement of financial transactions is obviously not yet Alipay's primary goal. To recognize this, a glance at the company's online presence suffices. "International Business" is another sectional programme in small print.
It is possible to register with an IBAN bank account as a business partner for Alipay transactions. All further declarations regarding the registration of an account or the use of the Service will continue to be offered in Mandarin only.