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Wider options for Alipay users in the UK

New partnership with Barclaycard will provide Alipay users more options in the UK

Chinese mobile payments giant Alipay can now be used in more stores across the UK after new partnership with Barclaycard - which processes nearly half of the UK’s credit and debit card transactions.

Alipay is currently accepted in some UK shops, restaurants and hotels but this partnership will allow more retailers to accept payments through Alipay, giving user more options to make their payments in the UK.

Barclaycard said that it will now offer software that will enable retailers to update their existing point-of-sale systems to support Alipay – rather than needing additional tools to allow payments via the Chinese firm’s app. It said that Chinese tourists were a key market for retailers, with visitors from the country expected to spend £1 billion this year.

Barclaycard’s global head of payment acceptance Rob Cameron said that thanks to the significant investments it has made in its platform, clients have access to a growing range of payment types, each of which can help them increase market share by meeting the needs of new customers.

Its new agreement with Alipay gives retailers a vital tool to help them seize the revenue opportunity posed by the growth of Chinese visitors to the UK. At the same time, Alipay users will benefit from a more convenient and familiar in-store payments process – enhancing their overall shopping experience, Cameron said.

The payment firm said it was keen to take advantage of a growing appetite among Chinese tourists to use mobile over cash. It cited 2018 research from Nielsen that suggested 93% of Chinese tourists said they were more likely to spend in a store that accepted mobile payment.

A part of Alibaba, the Chinese e-commerce giant, Alipay is one of the most popular apps in China with over 500 million users.

According to industry analyst firm, App Annie, it was among the top 10 apps on both iOS and Android in 2018.

The firm’s boss in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, Roland Palmer, said Alipay is excited to announce that it will be working with Barclaycard to provide visitors from China with the mobile payment experience that they are already familiar with.

Palmer said, through this strategic partnership, it will now be able to offer many more UK merchants the opportunity to connect and engage with a growing number of Chinese visitors.

He added that this is another step forwards in its vision to offer Chinese tourists a seamless travel and payment experience when travelling overseas.