Alibaba's deal with France's Ingenico, a global leader in seamless payments, heralds the entry of the Chinese company's Internet payment service to Europe by the end of 2016.
Ingenico said that with this partnership, Alibaba's Alipay service will be imbedded into Ingenico's in-store payment gateway, which will allow acquirers across Europe to easily integrate and offer Alipay acceptance with their merchants. With Alipay integrated into the acquirer's merchant portfolio, Chinese tourists visiting Europe will be able to conveniently pay via their mobile Alipay app at any store that uses the Ingenico solution.
In 2013, Alipay established its international business unit to accelerate globalization. Meanwhile, globalization has become one of the three major strategic development directions of Ant Financial, the parent company of Alipay.
So far, Alipay has been providing cross-border payment services to 2,000 overseas vendors in more than 40 countries and regions, supporting settlements with 14 different currencies. Its e-commerce website partners include iHerb, My Bag, and Rakuten; and it has also reached deals with transportation and tourism service providers such as Singapore Airlines.
In addition, Alipay provides online tax refund services for eight countries, including France, UK, Germany, Italy, Switzerland, Spain, Netherlands, and South Korea. In the O2O sector, over 10,000 offline stores in Hong Kong and South Korea accept Alipay payments.
The cooperating agreement between Alibaba and Ingenico will mainly cover France, UK, Italy, Spain, and Germany; and Alipay still needs to reach agreement with related banks to realize the payment service. The two companies predicted that Alipay will achieve full operating capacities in Europe by the end of 2016. Financial details of the Ingencio and Alibaba deal were not released.