Alipay expands partnerships to tap Chinese travelers to Europe

A sales assistant sits behind and under Alipay logos at a train station in Shanghai, February 9, 2015. REUTERS/Aly Song/File Photo

BEIJING (Reuters) - Alipay said Tuesday it has partnered with four more financial services providers in Europe, as it looks to tap into Chinese consumers traveling abroad, in a move that could help China’s top online payments platform expand its global footprint nearly tenfold.

The company has formed partnerships with Barclays PLC BARC.L, BNP Paribas Group BNPPL.UL, UniCredit SpA and SIX Payment Services Ltd, giving them access to a network of 930,000 new stores across Europe, the Chinese online finance company said.

Alipay, which has over 450 million active users in China, has sealed a number of successive foreign partnerships in the past two months, hoping to capture the growing market of Chinese consumers traveling abroad.

“Our users’ lifestyles are increasingly global,” said Douglas Feagin, the President of Alipay International and Senior Vice President of Alipay’s parent company Ant Financial Services Group, in a statement.

Feagin said current retail partnerships in Europe were ‘extremely popular with traveling Chinese consumers.’

Alipay signed a deal with French payment technology firm Ingenico in August, and inked similar deals with U.S. payment processors First Data and Verifone in October. Last month Ant Financial announced a tie-up between Alipay and Thai payment firm Ascend.

Currently Alipay covers 100,000 stores in 70 countries excluding mainland China, including Korea, India, Japan and Britain and Australia.

Reporting by Cate Cadell; Editing by Vyas Mohan