Alipay comes to Spain

Alipay comes to Spain

BBVA has signed an agreement with Chinese tech giant Ant Financial to enable Chinese tourists to pay in Spanish stores using the Alipay mobile wallet.

BBVA is the first Spanish financial institution to be working with Alipay.

The option to pay with Alipay (which is based on a QR codes system) – via BBVA’s Smartpay service – is currently available for Android phones only. Those retailers that are already using Smartpay will just need to update the Smartpay app.

Around 400,000 Chinese tourists visit Spain each year, and this year the number is likely to increase to 500,000. Collectively, the tourists are expected to spend around €1 billion across Spain’s stores in 2017, according to BBVA.

“While not the largest group of foreign tourists, they are the highest spenders in the countries they visit,” the banking group says. “According to 2016 figures, Chinese visitors spent 2,040 euros on average in Spain.”

It adds that it is “working with the large chain stores in Spain to prepare them to accept payments with Alipay as early as possible” and is also “developing a solution for stores to integrate the Alipay option into their cash register systems”.

Alipay is already on its way to other European nations, such as Italy (brought by SIA and Unicredit), Austria and Switzerland (via Concardis), France and the UK (via BNP Paribas and Barclays, respectively).