Barclaycard announces partnership with Chinese mobile payments business Alipay
Chinese mobile payments business Alipay can now be used in more UK stores after a new partnership with Barclaycard was announced.
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Alipay is already accepted in some shops, restaurants and hotels, but Barclaycard is now offering software that will enable retailers to update their existing point-of-sale systems to support Alipay, rather than needing additional tools to allow payments via the Chinese firm's app.
Barclaycard, which processes nearly half of the country's credit and debit card transactions, said Chinese tourists, who are expected to spend £1bn in the UK this year, were a key market for retailers hoping to grow their businesses.
Rob Cameron, Barclays global head of payment acceptance, added: "Thanks to the significant investments we've made in our platform, our clients have access to a growing range of payment types, each of which can help them increase market share by meeting the needs of new customers.
"Our new agreement with Alipay gives retailers a vital tool to help them seize the revenue opportunity posed by the growth of Chinese visitors to the UK.
"At the same time, Alipay users will benefit from a more convenient and familiar in-store payments process, enhancing their overall shopping experience."
The payment firm said it was keen to take advantage of a growing appetite among Chinese visitors to the UK to use mobile over cash.
It cited 2018 research from Nielsen that suggested 93% of Chinese tourists were more likely to spend in a store that accepted mobile payments.
Alipay, which is part of the Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba, is one of the most popular apps in its home country, with more than 500 million users.
It featured in the top 10 most downloaded apps in 2018 on both iOS and Android, according to industry analyst company App Annie.
The firm's boss in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, Roland Palmer, said: "Alipay is excited to announce that it will be working with Barclaycard to provide visitors from China with the mobile payment experience that they are already familiar with.
"Through this strategic partnership, Alipay will now be able to offer many more UK merchants the opportunity to connect and engage with a growing number of Chinese visitors.
"This is another step forwards in our vision to offer Chinese tourists a seamless travel and payment experience when travelling overseas."