It's one country, two systems for Alipay as it focuses on retail payments in Hong Kong, a special administrative region of China, with a separate mobile app from the one it uses on the mainland.
Alipay announced the launch of its Hong Kong version e-wallet Alipay HK, which is the first time for this Internet payment service provider to launch an overseas version app.
Alipay started providing services in Hong Kong in 2007. In August 2016, they gained a third-party payment license issued by Hong Kong Monetary Authority and Alipay Hong Kong company is one of the first batch of payment license owners. Now Alipay HK has finally been launched after a few months of preparation.
With the launch of Alipay HK, Hong Kong users will be able to use Alipay services by binding their credit cards of Hong Kong local banks or balance recharges, and they can use Hong Kong dollars to complete payment directly. Alipay HK provides three major services, including code-scanning payment, vendor offers, and stamp collection.
Alipay HK will gradually launch more functions like mobile phone fee recharges; payment for water, electricity, and gas bills; online transfers; taxi payment; and insurance payments.
The taxi payments are of special significance. Currently the Octopus payment card in Hong Kong is ubiquitous and can be used for both public transportation and retail payments. But Octopus cannot be used for paying of taxi trips. Octopus had a small, brief test of taxi payments a few years ago, but it failed to launch the service in Hong Kong. If Alipay could overcome the taxi payment obstacle, it could grab a new, underserved market.
For global expansion, Alipay's parent company Ant Financial has realized e-wallet cooperation with partners in India, Thailand, South Korea, Philippines, and Indonesia. With the launch of Alipay HK, Ant Financial's services now reach six overseas countries and regions.