Alipay is a popular third-party payment option in China. Launched in 2004 by the Chinese firm Alibaba Group, which was founded by Jack Ma in 1999, it provides a simple, fast, and secure method for making payments. As a virtual platform, it allows for cashless payments online through cards or bank accounts, while protecting the user’s privacy. Users can be individuals or businesses.
Paying and receiving money with Alipay is easy. Once the application is downloaded onto a mobile device, users add their phone number and card or bank account numbers through the Alipay homepage. To use, it has two important buttons: “Scan” and “Pay”.
The scan button is for QR codes. When paying for items and meals at stores and restaurants, users just scan their QR code on their mobile phone and enter the amount to pay along with their password to allow for payment.
With the pay button, a bar code appears on the display of the user’s mobile phone to show establishments for payment. In both processes, money gets directly transferred from the user’s account.
Alipay has many other interesting uses, like the “Collect” button, which opens a new QR code to show people who owe money. Users can specify the amount that they owe by clicking on “Specify an Amount” to let them know the amount they have to pay back.
Benefits for brands
While the Alipay app works similar to WeChat, individuals can chat with friends, add new friends, and use the chat function to transfer money. It also enables users to keep track of their transactions and balances by listing all payments made and posting how much money is left in their account. Simplifying many aspects of day-to-day life, Alipay incorporates features like booking a taxi, ordering food at restaurants, and scheduling other services.
For these reasons and others, it is essential for brands to use Alipay. With more than 100 million daily transactions and over 500 million active users, Alipay is an effective payment method for businesses targeting Chinese consumers at home and abroad. It is available in 70 markets and has been embraced by more than 80,000 retail stores around the world. Most importantly, its growth is continuing. Alibaba Group is working with hundreds of banks, payment centers, and retailers to allow easy cross-border payments to Chinese consumers and tourists who make payments via a smartphone app.
To learn more about best practices for promoting your business in China, contact Tolmao Group, an integrated marketing agency that combines traditional marketing tools with innovative approaches, creative thinking, and a full understanding of the Chinese market.