Ant Financial, Alibaba’s financial services spin off company and creator of Alipay digital payments, has announced that their market leading payment platform is now available for all foreign users to pay in China.
Previously, in order to take advantage of China’s remarkably convenient QR code-based digital payments, one would need to open a Chinese bank account. This new International Version of Alipay now provides increased accessibility to the millions of visitors to China every year.
China is the fourth most visited country in the world, with 56.9 million international tourists per year, behind France, the United States and Spain.
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Within the new International Version, users can register with an overseas phone number, and load a pre-paid e-card within the Alipay app titled “Tour Pass” which would allow users to charge up to 2000 yuan to their account. The Tour Pass is valid for up to three months and can be accessed via both the Android and iOS apps.
QR codes are ubiquitous in China and are by far the most popular method for offline payment transactions.