First Data and Alipay bring Chinese mobile payments to the US

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Starting from November, the Chinese mobile payments giant Alipay will be available to Chinese consumers in California and New York.

First Data is the largest merchant acquirer in the US, serving more than four million locations, whilst the US has become an incredibly popular destination for Chinese tourists in recent times. They are projected to spend $40 billion in 2017, continuing a recent trend of double-digit spending growth, according to Ant Financial Services Group, parent of Alipay and related company of Alibaba Group.

“There are more than 450 million loyal Alipay users in China and roughly two million of those users visit the United States each year,” said Frank Bisignano, First Data Chairman and Chief Executive Officer.

Earlier this month, Alipay continued its global expansion with partnerships in Europe with The Body Shop in the UK and selecting Zapper as its first British mobile partner. At the beginning of month it was China’s national Golden Week, a time when Chinese tourists go on holiday to European destinations. It was expected that just under 600 million tourists will travel during the holiday.

Shopping is the tourists’ number one activity with Chinese visitors projected to spend between $500 and $3,500 per trip and The First Data partnership with Alipay’s QR technology would allow tourists to pay just as they would back home.

The Alipay app will identify participating merchants based on the consumer’s mobile device geolocation feature. In-store signage will also identify Alipay-accepting merchants. The Alipay app will display discounts, coupons, and other promotions to the Chinese visitors before, during, and after their visit.

“Over 450 million users use their Alipay app everyday, ranging from shopping, movie-ticketing, paying their utilities bills, and Ant Financial aims to bring the ‘taste of home’ to them when they are traveling abroad,” Douglas Feagin, Senior Vice President of Ant Financial and Head of Alipay International said.

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