With plans for expansion to new regions, Alipay has added support for a non-yuan currency for the first time.
The China-based mobile payments service was already in operation in Hong Kong, but is now allowing users to actually pay with Hong Kong dollars at about 2,000 stores in the region. Commenting on the move, Douglas Feagin, an SVP with Alipay parent company Ant Financial, called it “an important step forward in Ant Financial’s mission to bring our services to more users in more markets.”
Building on that theme, Mobile World Live reports that Ant Financial has established new partnerships in Indonesia, the Philippines, South Korea, and Thailand.
The news comes soon after last month’s revelation that Alipay had established a deal with an American credit card processor that would enable Alipay payments at four million businesses in the US, suggesting that Alipay’s leadership is working hard to expand the service’s reach. While it doesn’t yet seem to be close to rivaling the growing international reach of mPayment leaders Apple Pay and Samsung Pay, it’s building from a strong base of consumer support in China, and could soon be a serious contender on the global stage.