Alipay to enable Hong Kong dollar eWallet service from Thursday

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 12 October, 2016, 9:42pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 12 October, 2016, 9:50pm

Alipay, the electronic payment service provider controlled by technology giant Alibaba Group, is expected to launch its Hong Kong dollar service on Thursday.

Alipay is the most popular online electronic payment service provider in mainland China, with more than 800 million users conducting 8.5 million transactions per day.

“For the very first time, Hongkongers can register for an Alipay account, load it with Hong Kong dollars, and use their Alipay eWallet to pay [in Hong Kong dollars] online and at brick-and-mortar stores where Alipay is accepted,” Worldpay chief product officer for global eCommerce business Kevin Dallas said in a statement.

In its Global Payments Report issued recently, Worldpay said it expects this year to be “a breakthrough year for so-called “alternative payment methods” which are “inching past” credit card payment methods for the first time, with a market share of 51 per cent.

It expected electronic wallets to overtake credit cards in the global electronic commerce market by 2019. Alipay’s Hong Kong service had been limited to payments made in yuan.

Apple Pay and Samsung Pay launched their Hong Kong services this year, and we may soon seen the entrance of more players, according to Dallas.

“We can expect the market to consolidate in the next few years as the public hones in on their preferred payment methods, and merchants feel more confident buying into payment technologies that their customers have already embraced,” he added.

Hong Kong consumers have a long history with electronic payments, with the Octopus Card top-up, tap-to-pay system introduced in September 1997.

Alipay is operated by Ant Financial Services Group, a unit of Alibaba Group which owns the South China Morning Post.