Chinese tourists spent $215bn abroad in 2015

Chinese tourists spent $215bn abroad in 2015

Alipay, one of the world’s largest online and mobile payment platforms, has inked deals with BNP Paribas, Barclays, UniCredit, and SIX Payment Services to drive the European expansion.

Alipay (operated by Ant Financial Services Group) is keen to provide its 450 million active users to pay via Alipay across Europe. They will be able to conduct transactions at points-of-sale (POS) via the barcode-scanning method they are used to in China.

According to the World Travel and Tourism Council, Chinese tourists spent $215 billion abroad in 2015, an increase of 53% from 2014.

The new partnerships will enable an additional 930,000 merchants to join Alipay’s European network.

BNP Paribas will facilitate Alipay payments via the bank’s merchant network in France (and in other European countries in due course).

Barclays will provide Alipay customers with digital ways to pay in the UK and Europe. A later phase, Alipay customers will be able to pay using Barclaycard’s POS solution.

UniCredit will launch Alipay in Italy next year.

SIX Payment Services will integrate Alipay services into SIX’s payment application, facilitating POS and e-commerce payments for Alipay users throughout the SIX network across Europe.

Alipay has also recently also held the first European leg of its Global Partnership Series, an initiative that seeks to bring more European merchants and acquirers into the Alipay ecosystem.

Alipay first entered Europe a year ago via a partnership with retailer Tripidi in Frankfurt Airport, Germany.

It currently works with payment technology and services providers such as Concardis in Germany, Ingenico in France, and Verifone, as well a range of retailers including Harrods and Selfridges. It also has a partnership with Zapper, a consumer insights and marketing platform in the UK.