The global mobile payment competition is heating up as Alipay prepares to launch in Europe.
So far, the China-based mPayment platform has mostly stayed close to home, though a recent partnership with Uber helped to extend its orbit in the southeast Asia region. Now, however, with Apple Pay and Samsung Pay both having launched in the previously closed market that Alipay dominated, the company appears to be seeking some expansion of its own. Speaking to CNBC at Money20/20 Europe, Alipay President Sabrina Peng asserted that the company’s plan is to target “two billion people within the next five to ten years, not only in China but other countries too.”
Alipay executives are currently in negotiations with potential partners both in Asia and Europe, where the company hopes to establish ties with various merchants and financial institutions. But it’s also going a step further than the other mPayment platforms by offering in-app promotions for businesses, notifying users about sales and good places to eat, for example. That could offer a compelling incentive to businesses wary of supporting yet another payment platform.
As for how it works, the app provides a barcode for merchants to scan in order to complete a transaction, thereby bypassing the need for NFC technology at merchants’ POS terminals – an advantage that Samsung Pay has enjoyed, and that could further smooth the path forward for Alipay’s entry into Europe.