Alipay allows worldwide app version for overseas visitors

Andrew Cummings
November 6, 2019

Visitors can use their worldwide debit or credit cards to load funds onto a prepaid card provided by Bank of Shanghai, it said.

Digital payments in China are dominated by the Alipay and WeChat Pay mobile wallets.

Travelers may also top up their card to reflect as Chinese yuan through their usual debit or credit cards. They may utilize their prepaid card service through the Bank of Shanghai.

"However, because access typically requires a local phone number and Chinese bank account, short-term global visitors previously could not use mobile payments in China".

China is the fourth most visited country in the world, with 56.9 million worldwide tourists per year, behind France, the United States and Spain. The companies recently restructured their relationship, with Alibaba taking a 33% stake in Ant, according to the Financial Times. It added that tourists also were spending more across various sectors such as hospitality, shopping, and food, forking out 5.1% more previous year to hit $73.1 billion.

The move will open the door for Ant Financial to tap into the growing visitors market. The minimum top-up for each pre-paid card is 100 yuan (US$14), with a maximum of 2,000 yuan (US$285).

According to a report on the South China Morning Post, Ant Financial Services Group "will give foreign visitors to the mainland" access to Alipay.

The card is valid for 90 days, and any balance will be refunded after.

Alipay has today announced that for the first time ever, global visitors to the Chinese mainland can now access and use Alipay, the mobile payment and lifestyle platform used by more than 1.2 billion people worldwide.

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