Alipay, China’s biggest payments service, has struck a partnership with Standard Chartered as the company looks to expand its footprint and deepen its mobile-payment push into Hong Kong.
The company controlled by billionaire and Alibaba co-founder Jack Ma gained a license for e-payments from the Hong Kong Monetary Authority last year, and already began to roll out accounts denominated in the local currency back in October.
Alipay HK is partnering with Standard Chartered in order to make it easier for Hong Kong residents to top up their account in HK dollars through online and mobile banking. Specifically, the unit of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba will work with Standard Chartered to facilitate Alipay payments via the bank’s merchant network in Hong Kong, while the bank will provide its users with digital ways to fund their accounts.
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The size of its newest partner in Hong Kong could bring Alipay to a considerable number of stores. The deal with Alipay will also allow Standard Chartered to target Chinese tourists particularly with Alipay users cannot link the HKD account to their existing yuan- denominated one, nor can they transfer money into the new account.
Alipay, which is operated by Alibaba’s financial services arm Ant Financial, is a separate app on devices that allows customers to pay for their purchases in-store through opening the Alipay app, then scan a QR code provided by the retailer.
Alipay holds nearly 70 percent of China’s third-party mobile payment market share and processed more than 380 million daily transactions as of June 2016.
Vicky Kong, head of retail banking at Standard Chartered Hong Kong, said: “We believe the partnership with Alipay, the world’s largest online and offline payment platform with over 450 million active users, will enhance customer engagement with our existing clients on one hand, and help reaching out to new clients, especially the active online users on the other.”