Introduction to Alipay
Alipay is a wallet based mobile and online payment platform, established in Hangzhou, China in February 2004 by Alibaba Group and its founder Jack Ma. In 2015, Alipay moved its headquarters to Pudong, Shanghai, although its parent company Ant Financial remains Hangzhou-based.
Alipay was first launched in 2004 as an Internet-based payment service using the e-commerce platform Alibaba and then further developed for mobile with the Alipay application (app) in 2009. Alipay overtook PayPal as the world’s largest mobile payment platform in 2013. In 2015, Alipay had 450 million monthly active users, who each spent US$2,921 on average. By 2016, Alipay was processing 175 million transactions per day, 60% of which were completed through a mobile phone. In the fourth quarter of 2016, Alipay had a 54% share of China’s US$5.5 trillion mobile payment market, by far the largest in the world. As of September 2017, Alipay unveiled a facial recognition payment service.
Alipay only supports CNY (Chinese Yuan), thus all transactions are converted when in-and-out China. However, Alipay supports cross-border online payments. This function enables Alipay users to make purchases on international merchants’ websites, On Static QR code and in merchants’ apps with Alipay.
During the purchases, Alipay is able to deduct the amount of payment from the users’ Alipay account in Chinese yuan and send the payment to the merchants in different foreign currencies. It should be noted that only Chinese wallet holders are eligible for Alipay transactions. LKR will not in any way be circulated via this payment method and no Sri Lankan citizen will be allowed to participate. However, the settlement currency will be in LKR or USD as per the merchant requirement.