This press release announces that the Wirecard ConnectedPOS technology will be used to enable the Alipay mobile wallet to be accepted at European merchant locations and there will be no currency exchange fee:
“Aschheim (Munich). A collaboration on innovative point-of-sale (POS) payment acceptance based on internet technologies and value added services in Europe between the Wirecard Group and Alipay, a business of Ant Financial, a related company of Alibaba Group, is set to begin today. The partnership will enable the brands and retailers to tap into the Chinese tourism market, worth US$ 165 billion in 2014 according to World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO), and provide a channel for them to engage with Chinese tourists.
Alipay is the largest provider of China’s leading internet payment solution with 400 million active users, owning over 50% of the market share in online payment and 80% in mobile. Its mobile wallet is being widely used for payments in online shops and also at the point-of-sale in China. Now, Chinese users are able to pay with their smartphone and Alipay app at authorised POS retailers in Europe by using integrated barcode payment functionality from Wirecard, without the hassle of incurring currency exchange fees. Wirecard is a full service provider for merchants, offering POS infrastructure, payment processing and acquiring services.
“In Wirecard, we have found a strong and flexible partner. Our plan is to enable an easy rollout of our payment and value-added services solution to various merchants in Europe”, said Rita Liu, Head of Europe of Alipay. “Our customers have very high trust in our brand as Alipay is an essential part of their daily life. We are therefore confident that many users will be using our new, convenient and cashless offer when travelling to Europe.””
This is a relatively compelling reason for merchants in Europe to adopt the Wirecard ConnectedPOS technology:
“Wirecard provides Alipay with state-of-the-art-payment technology for merchants. The solution complements the traditional point-of-sale terminal, as the entire payment process of Alipay transactions is handled by Wirecard’s innovative ConnectedPOS technology. The solution can be installed either directly on the merchant’s POS system or externally between the merchant’s POS system and the receipt printer, not requiring any alteration of the existing infrastructure. For the merchant, the entire checkout process is very quick and easy: a customer who wants to pay cashless on the move via the Alipay Wallet will show the barcode on their smartphone display. To initiate the payment process immediately, all a merchant must do is scan this barcode with a hand scanner.
Jörn Leogrande, Executive Vice President at Mobile Services with Wirecard: ‘We are proud to be Alipay’s one of the first partners for POS acceptance in Europe. With our innovative ConnectedPOS technology, we can easily integrate Alipay payments in Europe without the need to alter POS software or terminal infrastructure. Alipay is the preferred online and mobile payment tool for many Chinese users and merchants. This cooperation unlocks further sales potential from the growth market of Chinese tourists and business people. After a successful start, we plan to expand our offer for Alipay customers, for example by including integrated tax refund services.’ ”
Overview by Tim Sloane, VP, Payments Innovation at Mercator Advisory Group