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Alipay launches international e-wallet, giving foreigners access to mobile payment platform in first for China

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Alipay launches international e-wallet, giving foreigners access to mobile payment platform in first for China

source: https://www.scmp.com/business/article/3036366/alipay-launches-international-e-wallet-giving-foreigners-access-electronic

TL;DR

  • Ant Financial unveils a 90-day ‘tour pass’ programme for short-term visitors to pay for online purchases through its Alipay platform
  • China received 30.5m international tourists in 2018 who spent US$73.1 billion from lodging to shopping and food, Ant Financial say

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Without a Chinese bank account and a local mobile phone line, foreigners have found it difficult, if not impossible, to find any smartphone app to pay for online purchases in China. That hurdle will be now removed under a pioneering effort by Alipay.

Ant Financial Services Group, which operates one of China’s two dominant e-payment platforms, will give foreign visitors to the mainland access to its mobile payment platform from Tuesday, according to a statement. It will allow visitors up to 90 days’ usage of its smartphone application without requiring a local bank account or mobile phone number, it added.

Ant Financial is an associate of Alibaba Group Holding, which in turn is the owner of The South China Morning Post.

Under the programme called ‘Tour Pass’, the company will introduce an international version of its Alipay app for download and registration using their international phone numbers.

The app will enable visitors to pay for their transactions using a 90-day prepaid card from the Bank of Shanghai.

The move will open the door for Ant Financial to extend its dominance in the home market and tap into growing tourism in the world’s second-largest economy. China received 30.5 million of foreign visitors in 2018, an increase of 4.7 per cent from the previous year. They spent about US$73.1 billion in lodging, food, shopping, among others, Ant Financial estimates.

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The international version of the Alipay app is not being made available for Hong Kong and Macau mobile phone users, Ant Financial said. There is a mobile payment solution called Alipay HK for Hong Kong users, which is different from the mainland version.

To gain access to China’s mobile payment services, Hong Kong residents can open a Chinese bank account through Bank of China (Hong Kong), one of the city’s three currency issuers, without having to do so onshore.

Ant Financial said the 90-day prepaid card can be reloaded using their international debit or credit cards. The minimum top-up is 100 yuan, with the balance capped at 2,000 yuan. Users can top up “multiple times” and Alipay has set an undisclosed but “reasonable” ceiling, it said.

Alipay competes with Tencent Holdings’ WeChat Pay for dominance in China’s cashless economy. Both operators have more than 90 per cent penetration rate among internet users, according to a 2018 report on China’s third-party mobile payments market by research firm Ipsos. Alipay, together with its local e-wallet partners across Asia, serves more than 1.2 billion users on its platform, according to its statement.

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Linked one of my Visa card to Alipay, managed to receive money and transfer back. But, when account balance is zero, not able to top up using the linked credit card. 
But, I am happy already, just get someone to transfer RMB to my Alipay account and I pay him back in cash and can start using . 
later will try If WeChat pay work 😄

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WeChat Pay joins Alipay in allowing international credit cards

Source: https://www.scmp.com/tech/article/3036756/wechat-pay-joins-alipay-allowing-international-credit-cards

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This article originally appeared on

ABACUS

WeChat Pay now supports international credit cards for foreign visitors,

Tencent announced yesterday

. Supported cards include Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Discover and JCB.

This is will be the first time foreign visitors will be able to use international credit cards to pay with WeChat Pay in China. However, it’s limited to certain online services for now. Tencent said international cards can be used to pay for dozens of online services, including ride-hailing service Didi, ecommerce app JD.com, travel booking app Ctrip and 12306, the official train ticket booking site run by China Railway.

WeChat Pay’s announcement comes after rival

Alipay launched a mini-program

that also lets people use international credit cards to top-up a prepaid card. Previously, people needed a Chinese bank account to use Alipay in China.

China’s central bank is also

pushing to let underserved populations join the cashless trend, including foreigners and rural residents without bank accounts.

(Abacus is a unit of the South China Morning Post, which is owned by Alibaba, whose affiliate Ant Financial operates Alipay.)

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On 11/7/2019 at 4:39 PM, RH1667 said:

Linked one of my Visa card to Alipay, managed to receive money and transfer back. But, when account balance is zero, not able to top up using the linked credit card. 
But, I am happy already, just get someone to transfer RMB to my Alipay account and I pay him back in cash and can start using . 
later will try If WeChat pay work 😄

Wait .................

why need to top up since u already link to CC ? 

Top by using CC very expensive hor .. they charge u as overdraft 

:XD:

 Is there any tracking on transaction ? 

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45 minutes ago, Angcheek said:

Wait .................

why need to top up since u already link to CC ? 

Top by using CC very expensive hor .. they charge u as overdraft 

:XD:

 Is there any tracking on transaction ? 

Ah... you planning on visiting questionable places ah 😏

Think those are cash leh 😂

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3 hours ago, Angcheek said:

Wait .................

why need to top up since u already link to CC ? 

Top by using CC very expensive hor .. they charge u as overdraft 

:XD:

 Is there any tracking on transaction ? 

For direct purchase from Taobao, it is ok to use our CC directly. 
but, need to top up the account balance if you want to use Alipay account to pay other people.

there is a transaction listing you can check from your Alipay account, I am sure the authority can check / trace your spending if they want. 

using my Alipay account balance to pay ( in RMB ) for my TB purchase, I am not charge the “ overseas card processing fee” ( which will be charge if I used my CC ). 

Edited by RH1667
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26 minutes ago, RH1667 said:

For direct purchase from Taobao, it is ok to use our CC directly. 
but, need to top up the account balance if you want to use Alipay account to pay other people.

there is a transaction listing you can check from your Alipay account, I am sure the authority can check / trace your spending if they want. 

using my Alipay account balance to pay ( in RMB ) for my TB purchase, I am not charge the “ overseas card processing fee” ( which will be charge if I used my CC ). 

How u transfer $ to Alipay in this case ?

 

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3 minutes ago, Angcheek said:

How u transfer $ to Alipay in this case ?

 

Just nice I was in China last week, so just get one of the local to transfer to my Alipay account, and I pay him back in cash😁

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1 hour ago, RH1667 said:

Just nice I was in China last week, so just get one of the local to transfer to my Alipay account, and I pay him back in cash😁

Huh!? What I know is epayment thrives in China becos locals don’t trust their own notes...or did you pay back in USD? 

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13 hours ago, mersaylee said:

Huh!? What I know is epayment thrives in China becos locals don’t trust their own notes...or did you pay back in USD? 

speechless

 

there are so many benefits.....

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20 hours ago, Angcheek said:

Wait .................

why need to top up since u already link to CC ? 

Top by using CC very expensive hor .. they charge u as overdraft 

:XD:

 Is there any tracking on transaction ? 

you just need to transfer a certain amount from your credit card to your Alipay... say rmb100. it is a direct transaction, not overdraft. The money sits in your e-wallet.  however, the exchange rate is [knife]

I will use only when the merchant do not accept cash and refrain from using unless bopian.

 

 

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Just now, Old-driver said:

you just need to transfer a certain amount from your credit card to your Alipay... say rmb100. it is a direct transaction, not overdraft. The money sits in your e-wallet.  however, the exchange rate is [knife]

I will use only when the merchant do not accept cash and refrain from using unless bopian.

 

 

 

ohhhhh ... they very smart . Earn by exchange rate . 

Thanks for the advice.  Any other way to tsf rmb to account ? 

Can I tsf money from alipay back to my credit card ? 

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3 minutes ago, Angcheek said:

 

ohhhhh ... they very smart . Earn by exchange rate . 

Thanks for the advice.  Any other way to tsf rmb to account ? 

Can I tsf money from alipay back to my credit card ? 

Not sure if your friend can tsf $$ to your wallet. will have to test it out.

This version is the international `tourpass' version and its valid for 3 months... i think the $$ will be credited back to your CC after it expires but surely they earn another round of exchange rate difference.

So don't put too much money in there, only what you'll require for the trip.

Alipay is real useful in China.... i think the penetration rate is almost 100%.  Some merchants don't even take wechat.

 

 

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41 minutes ago, Galantspeedz said:

speechless

 

there are so many benefits.....

IKR

I also “huh?!” when my PRC colleagues told me this...they even ensured their old folks able to use the smart phone for payment...one even made a purposeful trip back motherland just to coach her aging parents on the ‘how-to’...

“pork meat” bao made out of cardboard...seaweed made out of plastic...村姑 can turn into 风花丽人 with makeups...money is not a problem but a motivation...

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4 minutes ago, mersaylee said:

IKR

I also “huh?!” when my PRC colleagues told me this...they even ensured their old folks able to use the smart phone for payment...one even made a purposeful trip back motherland just to coach her aging parents on the ‘how-to’...

“pork meat” bao made out of cardboard...seaweed made out of plastic...村姑 can turn into 风花丽人 with makeups...money is not a problem but a motivation...

That's why PBOC might be the 1st bank in the world to issue Crypto.

The only problem is e-wallet need to be tie to unionpay bank card

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25 minutes ago, Old-driver said:

Not sure if your friend can tsf $$ to your wallet. will have to test it out.

This version is the international `tourpass' version and its valid for 3 months... i think the $$ will be credited back to your CC after it expires but surely they earn another round of exchange rate difference.

So don't put too much money in there, only what you'll require for the trip.

Alipay is real useful in China.... i think the penetration rate is almost 100%.  Some merchants don't even take wechat.

Rather than paying cut throat exchange rate, you can always bank in RMB into my China bank account.  I will transfer the $$$$ to your Allipay account.

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49 minutes ago, Old-driver said:

you just need to transfer a certain amount from your credit card to your Alipay... say rmb100. it is a direct transaction, not overdraft. The money sits in your e-wallet.  however, the exchange rate is [knife]

I will use only when the merchant do not accept cash and refrain from using unless bopian.

 

 

Thanks for sharing about the exchange rate! 

Than i will just continue to get my friends there to transfer to me and i pay them back using cash. 

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2 hours ago, Davidtch said:

Rather than paying cut throat exchange rate, you can always bank in RMB into my China bank account.  I will transfer the $$$$ to your Allipay account.

i remitted last week at 5.221 😂

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