Alipay, a mobile payment service from China, is expanding to the US. It has inked a deal with First Data that will allow users to pay for products and services at four million retailers. The service will be first supported by companies using First Data’s Clover products.
Mobile payments are big business in China, with Alipay and rival WeChat Pay combining for a 90 percent market share. Alipay now wants to offer the four million Chinese consumers who travel to the US every year an easy way to pay at stores across the country. The service works with MasterCard, American Express, and Visa cards and is already supported by a total of over 100,000 retailers in 70 international markets – in addition to China and the US.
Thanks to the deal with First Data, Alipay is now more or less on the same level as Apple Pay in terms of acceptance. Apple’s mobile payment service is currently supported by 4.5 million retailers across the country.
Alipay, which is owned by Jack Ma’s Ant Financial, has more than 450 million users across the globe. It was launched back in 2014 as a payment processor for Alibaba Group’s e-commerce websites. China is its biggest market where mobile transactions topped 38 trillion yuan (around $5.5 trillion) last year. That’s a lot more when compared with the US, where consumers spent $112 billion on products and services purchased with various mobile payment services in 2016.