Alipay expands into the UK with Wirecard and The Body Shop partnership

Alipay, China’s largest mobile wallet, has continued its European expansion by working with The Body Shop in its three central London stores.

The Covent Garden, Oxford Street and Regent Street stores are now using the new Scan Alipay App provided by Wirecard that started on October 1st, parallel to the start of China’s national Golden Week. This is a seven day national holiday during which time many Chinese tourists go on holiday to European destinations. It’s expected that just under 600 million tourists will travel during the holiday.

The app allows customers to make cashless payments – all they have to do is show the barcode that appears in the app to the shop assistant. All the retailer is required to do is enter the amount payable into the ‘Scan Alipay’ App on a mobile device and then scan the QR code on the customer’s smartphone. Payment processing and acquiring is handled by Wirecard.

The mobile wallet giant has focused heavily on the Chinese tourist experience abroad, partnering with the likes of Uber, Ingenico and rolling out its ‘Local Services Platform’. According to VisitBritain, more than 250,000 Chinese tourists visited the UK in 2015, an increase in 45% from the previous year and spending a total of £586.22m.

Simon Coble, UK General Manager at The Body Shop explains Alipay’s partnership with the company:

China’s beauty market is the second biggest in the world. The Body Shop is extremely popular with the global Chinese Shopper and accounts for a significant percentage of sales in our major UK stores. With over 100,000 Chinese customers in the UK we want to offer a great shopping experience, including simple and secure payment.

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