Alipay Expands in North America with First Data Deal
The Alipay online payment platform operated by Ant Financial Services Group is moving further into North America through an agreement with payments technology provider First Data. Alipay is considered the world’s largest online and mobile payment platform, with more than 450 million global active users.
Alipay is expanding globally to in-store, offline payments at brick-and-mortar stores—a move that pits the company squarely against competitors, such as Apple Pay, Android Pay and PayPal. In North America, First Data will enable its 4 million merchant partners to accept payments from Alipay, beginning with First Data clients using its Pay Award-winning Clover products and services, according to the May 8 announcement.
Alipay transactions will be routed through First Data’s Acculynk technology, which will tokenize Alipay QR codes for settlement, the company said. Earlier this year, First Data acquired Acculynk, which provides e-commerce solutions for debit card acceptance.
“Our goal is to extend reliable payment services to the over 4 million Chinese consumers that visit North America every year,” said Souheil Badran, president, Alipay North America. “Extending our partnership with a premier partner like First Data provides the merchants with a seamless integration and access to consumers who want to continue paying with their lifestyle mobile app.” Last year, the companies tested Alipay’s mobile payment service at certain high-end retailers in California and New York.
The agreement with First Data to enter the North American market follows a deal Alipay made with Wirecard in 2015, enabling Chinese travelers to make POS payments in Europe using the Alipay mobile wallet.
In other First Data news, the company on May 8 released its earnings report for the first quarter ended March 31, 2017. Consolidated revenue for the quarter was $2.80 billion, a 1 percent increase compared with $2.77 billion in the first quarter of 2016. First Data also reported first quarter net income of $36 million for the first quarter of 2017, compared with a net loss of $56 million in the same period a year ago.