Traditionally, banks provided the infrastructure to enable payments to take place. Nowadays, there are many different third party online payment services that compete directly with the bank models. We came across an interesting article detailing the rise of a mobile payment platform with a large customer base in China, which is bigger than well-known services such as Paypal. It is part of the Alibaba Group who already have a large presence in Europe via AliExpress – after making a large impact on European online shopping, will they make an impact on the payments systems?
With a customer base 400 million strong, Alipay alone represents 50% of all online shopping in China. As the number of Chinese tourists in Europe increases by 100% annually, this tool is offering a wealth of business opportunities for retailers and e-merchants.
An ultra-simple virtual wallet
From taxi fare to the water bill, to purchases in small shops, or traffic tickets—online as well as in the physical world—Alipay can be used for almost any transaction. Such incredible flexibility puts this e-wallet at the centre of daily life in China. Witness the staggering figures: over 175 million transactions per day, peaking at one billion orders processed on 11th November 2016, dubbed “Singles Day,” a huge shopping fest organised by Ali Baba since 2009.