Alipay has blocked free payment services for desktop devices. Alipay, China’s leading payment solution, with over 100 million registered accounts, surprised its users yesterday when they found a new fee with their charges made on desktop devices.
The fees range between a floor of $0.08 to a ceiling of $1.63 (0.5-10 Yuan), based on 0.1% of the amount of the transaction. Prior to the new structure, users were given a quota for free transactions. The previous fees were calculated by a ceiling of 25 Yuan, with a floor of 0.5% of the transaction.
The move seems to stem from Alibaba’s intention on pushing Alipay’s mobile wallet, as no fees are calculated for mobile transactions. With a 64% market share of all third party mobile payments as of Q3, Alipay is the dominant mobile solution in China.
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Alipay has recently been seen partnering with numerous entities in China, beyond support for Alibaba’s online marketplaces Tmall and Taobao. They have recruited over 5,000 taxi cabs in Beijing to support payment of fares through the mobile wallet. They also provide support for convenience stores, department stores, and vending machines.
Although mobile transactions are growing rapidly all over the globe, the majority of users still use computers when placing online purchases. Alipay’s mobile wallet will most probably gain more users, and their dominance in the Chinese market might not suffer too much from the added fees.
It is uncertain if Alipay eventually becomes a mobile only service, but Alipay is clearly focusing on the mobile market.