Ant Group Advances Global Expansion with Alipay+

Ant Group Advances Global Expansion with Alipay+

by May 7, 2024

Ant Group, a Chinese tech giant Alibaba affiliate, announced the expansion of its cross-border payments solution, Alipay+, into new global markets, including Europe, the Middle East, and Latin America.

Introduced in 2020, Alipay+ facilitates international transactions by allowing users to make payments abroad using their home country’s mobile apps via QR code scans.

Ant Group Alipay+

Douglas Feagin

“What we found is that people want to use their home e-wallets when they travel abroad. So they don’t want to have to load their card into another app that they don’t know as well,”

said Douglas Feagin, Senior Vice President of Ant Group, emphasising the convenience Alipay+ offers to international travelers.

Strategic expansion and partnerships

Under the guidance of Douglas, who also serves as President of Ant International, the company has strategically invested in e-wallets across Asia and extended its reach to significant tourism markets in Europe and the U.S.

“We had the benefit that Alipay was already accepted in many merchants around the world so one of our first steps was [to] convert those merchants to Alipay+ merchants. So instead of just accepting a wallet, they can accept many wallets,”

Douglas explained.

Alipay+ impact and coverage

Alipay+ connects 1.5 billion consumer accounts across more than 25 e-wallets and bank apps to 88 million merchants in 57 countries and regions.

The platform has recently been enhanced in Hong Kong, enabling users from 14 popular e-wallets across nine countries and regions to seamlessly transact with local merchants displaying the Alipay+ or AlipayHK logos.

The newly integrated e-wallets and bank apps include MPay, Changi Pay, OCBC Digital, GCash, HelloMoneyHipayKakao PayNaver Pay, Toss Pay, MyPB by Public Bank Berhad, Touch’ n Go eWallet, TrueMoney, and Tinaba.

These services are now accepted at over 90 percent of local outlets, mirroring the ubiquity of Alipay in mainland China.

Ant Group has also focused on expanding in key Asian markets such as Japan, Thailand, and Singapore, building out merchant coverage in these prime tourist destinations.

In addition to these efforts, Ant Group is looking to grow its presence in emerging markets like Sri Lanka and Cambodia. It has recently partnered with European e-wallets Tinaba and Nexi, as well as Dubai Duty Free.

Adapting to regulatory changes

Following regulatory challenges in China, which led to the cancellation of its IPO in 2020 and a mandated restructuring, Ant Group modified its global expansion strategy.

The result was Alipay+, which aims to resolve interoperability issues for e-wallets and rapidly expand its user base by targeting countries with large populations and key tourism destinations.

With its focus on customer preferences, strategic partnerships, growth opportunities, and leveraging its existing merchant network, Ant Group could be well-positioned to continue its global expansion and solidify its position as a leader in the cross-border payments market.

Featured image credit: Edited from Freepik