UPDATE 1-Norway's Vipps seals deal with China's Alipay to expand payments

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OSLO, Dec 11 (Reuters) - Vipps will cooperate with China’s Alipay to enable its Vipps-payment to be used outside Norway and to open the system up for mobile payments by Chinese tourists visiting the country.

“This deal makes it easier for Norwegian restaurants, shops, hotels and tourist destinations to reach the ever-increasing proportion of Chinese tourists to Norway,” a Vipps spokeswoman said on Tuesday.

“Through this collaboration, we also get important strategic opportunities together with Alipay,” she said, adding that Alipay is the most popular app in China with 700 million users.

Vipps, whose main owners include Norway’s biggest bank DNB and lenders, will launch in Spain in the first half of 2019 with other European countries to follow.

Finnish ePassi which is present in Sweden, Finland, Estonia and Spain, is also part of the collaboration.

Vipps’ mobile payment in shops in Norway will be rolled out next year, but the timing will depend on retailers.

While Nordea and some smaller banks entered a deal with Apple Pay to offer its Norwegian customers Apple Pay from June this year, DNB instead said it aimed to develop Vipps further. (Reporting by Camilla Knudsen; editing by Jason Neely and Alexander Smith)