Alipay joins international bank for online deal

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 16 February, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 16 February, 2012, 12:00am


Alipay, the biggest online payments services provider in China, is ratcheting up its expansion under a landmark alliance with the mainland unit of Standard Chartered Bank.

The two companies yesterday launched a co-branded express payment service that will allow debit-card holders of Standard Chartered Bank (China) to buy goods securely over the internet from up to 460,000 online merchants worldwide that offer Alipay as a payment option.

'This is a first for international banks in China to provide a service which enables debit-card holders to safely and conveniently pay for their online purchases anywhere, anytime,' a Standard Chartered China spokeswoman said.

The milestone is expected to help swell the number of Alipay's registered accounts, which was more than 650 million as of December 31 last year.

Standard Chartered Bank, which established its first mainland branch in Shanghai in 1858, started its debit-card business in 2008. The bank's spokeswoman declined to say how many debit-card holders the company has on the mainland.

Hangzhou-based Alipay, an affiliate of privately held Alibaba Group, has partnered with Visa, MasterCard and more than 100 financial institutions, including leading national and regional banks across the mainland, to facilitate online payments worldwide.

'Alipay expects to work with all international banks that are permitted to undertake yuan consumer banking business in China to provide our express-payment service,' an Alipay spokeswoman said. She added that the daily total number of transactions facilitated by Alipay reached about 13 million as of last month.

Analyst firm iResearch estimated Alipay had a 49.56 per cent share of the mainland's online payments market.

To use the Standard Chartered-Alipay express payment service, the bank's debit-card holders need only provide their debit-card number, mobile-phone verification code and other related information, the bank spokeswoman said. Once approved, users can complete online transactions with their Alipay password and mobile verification code.