Samsung Pay and Alipay have officially teamed up, with their parent companies announcing the partnership today. The announcement confirms rumors that surfaced this week, and marks an alliance between two of the most important brands in digital and mobile payments.
Still, the partnership is somewhat modest in practice. Essentially, it will see an Alipay mobile payment option integrated into the Samsung Pay app. While Samsung Pay itself can make contactless purchases on virtually any POS reader using its MST technology as well as NFC capabilities, the Alipay mPayment app requires the merchant in a transaction to scan a QR code from the user’s screen. The new partnership will make those Alipay QR codes accessible via the Samsung Pay app.
In other words, consumers who use Samsung Pay can now more easily access Alipay accounts through the app. This could affect a lot of people, given that China-based Alipay is said to have about 450 million users. But whether it significantly boosts Samsung Pay adoption remains to be seen.
Meanwhile, Apple has reportedly been in negotiations for a similar partnership with Alipay parent company Alibaba for some time. Such an agreement still could come to pass, but in the meantime Apple Pay does not appear to need much help in the China market, where it has surpassed expectations since launching earlier this year.