Become a MacRumors Supporter for $25/year with no ads, private forums, and more!

Chinese Mobile Payment Service Alipay to Launch in the U.S.

MacRumors

macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
50,100
11,365



Alipay, the mobile payment system offered by Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba, is coming to the U.S., thanks to a deal brokered with credit card processing service First Data Corp.

The expansion follows limited trials in California and New York, and will bring Alipay into direct competition with Apple Pay, Android Pay, and PayPal. Alongside online payments and money transfers, Alipay users can also hail a taxi, book a hotel, and buy movie tickets directly from within the app.


The partnership will allow Chinese tourists who visit the U.S. to use their mobile phones to complete transactions at 4 million merchants and retailers around the country. That compares to about 4.5 million U.S. merchants that currently accept Apple Pay.

The U.S. is behind China in terms of the proportion of customers using mobile payments, but that's forecast to change in 2018. As noted by Bloomberg, given U.S. consumer's relative indifference to mobile payments, Alipay's entry into the country may actually benefit Apple, as more retailers gear up to offer tap-and-go transactions to shoppers, be they Chinese tourists or U.S. residents.

Alipay has about 450 million customers worldwide, but Alipay's deal with First Data aims to offset the mobile payment's loss of ground in China to rival Tencent Holdings, which has successfully leveraged the popularity of WeChat to roll out WeChat Pay. The WeChat app's dominance in the country is also said to have negatively affected the relevance of iOS features in China.

In February, Apple partnered with China's state-run bankcard association, China Union Pay, enabling the lender's cardholders to use Apple Pay.

Article Link: Chinese Mobile Payment Service Alipay to Launch in the U.S.
 

Shirasaki

macrumors G4
May 16, 2015
10,270
4,104
Someone told me lack of sufficient regulation is the core reason Alipay could build such an enormous market in China.
I have no idea about this claim though.
 

uwdude

macrumors 6502a
Jul 16, 2014
915
468
Well there seems to be a problem with terminals being updated to have the chip capability and then Apple Pay doesn't work anymore. This is happening at McDonald's and some other places. The terminal wants the chip then if your account is associated with a chipped card.
 

iZac

macrumors 68020
Apr 28, 2003
2,117
1,385
Shanghai
I almost exclusively use AliPay now. I use cash maybe once a week, and nearly any retailer that accepts cards have also purchased a POS unit that accepts AliPay and WeChat.

Although "AliPay" is a lazy name, it is at least more internationally acceptable that the local name - "Zhi Fu Bao"
 
Last edited:

M2M

macrumors 6502
Jan 12, 2009
348
488
Fast forward 20 years: companies have their own currencies and dollars, euros, yuan you can only find in museums. People use apple$, Sony-Cash and tencent-yen.
 

Phil in ocala

Suspended
Jul 14, 2016
728
325
Well there seems to be a problem with terminals being updated to have the chip capability and then Apple Pay doesn't work anymore. This is happening at McDonald's and some other places. The terminal wants the chip then if your account is associated with a chipped card.
________________________________
Chinese software...what could possibly go wrong?
 

Nunyabinez

macrumors 68000
Apr 27, 2010
1,758
2,230
Provo, UT
I almost exclusively use AliPay now. I use cash maybe once a week, and nearly any retailer that accepts cards have also purchased a POS unit that accepts AliPay and WeChat.

Although "AliPay" is a lazy name, it is at least more internationally acceptable that the local name - "Zhi Fu Bao"

很高心认识你!I'm in Shanghai right now, teaching at Shanghai Shi Da. I wish I had WeChat Wallet, but I just don't want to have to deal with the hassle of getting a Chinese bank card.

Most foreigners (non Chinese) have no concept of how the Chinese use their phones to pay for things. They are way ahead of the rest of the world on this.

Too bad Alipay didn't launch in the US sooner, I would love the convenience of using my phone instead of cash. I brought some students with me and they really want to use the rental bikes that line every street, but without WeChat they can't do it. Maybe on my next trip I'll be able to use Alipay.
 

tmiw

macrumors 68020
Jun 26, 2007
2,196
492
San Diego, CA
I actually wouldn't be surprised if some QR code based system becomes the most popular in the US, even if it isn't necessarily Alipay. Besides the whole privacy thing, QR is supposedly easier for retailers to implement than NFC (from what I've heard anyway).
 

tongxinshe

macrumors 6502a
Feb 24, 2008
852
382
Is it me or has the world just gotten lazy when it comes to the naming schemes for all these ways to pay?

We've gone from semi-creative names like Visa, American Express, and Discover to "insert-word/name-here Pay".

The three names you see here, their original Chinese names are actually not that “lazy”. I guess they are not familiar with the US culture and simply “played safe” when giving them English names.
 

pratikindia

macrumors 6502
Apr 7, 2014
415
412
Almost everyone uses Alipay in China. It has multiple payment options like Scan Pay, Sound Pay or bar code pay. There are tons of mini apps within Alipay to buy/pay almost everything. It can do a lot more than Apple Pay/Android Pay or PayPal combined.
 
Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.