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What is AliPay – Everything You Need to Know About China’s Popular Payment App

View of the Shanghai, China skyline at night

AliPay is a mobile payment app originating in China with over 1 billion users across the Asia Pacific and beyond.

Alipay is a payment app and digital wallet, allowing users to send and receive money easily without using cash. It is also a superapp, meaning that it also has countless other features that allow users to hail a taxi, get a credit card and even buy insurance. And with over a billion users, offering this payment method is a natural choice for those who want to make international payments work.

What is Alipay?

AliPay users can save their debit or credit card details to the app, letting them make payments via their mobile phone. As part of the Alibaba group, they partner with several different financial institutions, mainly linked to Chinese credit and debit cards, including Mastercard and Visa.

The Alibaba group is no stranger to the eCommerce scene and is well on track to serve 2 billion customers globally. So it’s no surprise that they developed their own online payment system, Alipay. If you’ve ever used apps like Venmo or Paypal, you’ll have seen a similar digital wallet technology. Alipay is one of many Chinese payment apps quickly dominating a large portion of the Chinese market and is now gaining popularity in Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore, and across the world.

How Does Alipay Work?

Alipay maintains a digital wallet linked to your customer. They can use this wallet for all their transactions, whether using their wallet balance to make purchases from your company or receive payments from others. Alipay uses a QR (Quick Response) code system so you can present a barcode for your customer to scan, or you can scan their mobile QR code to receive payment.

How Long Does it Take to Get Paid with Alipay?

Alipay works using the principle of escrow, holding funds until both sides of the transaction are confirmed – rather than sending payment directly into an account when you hit send. This means it typically takes between an hour and four business days for a recipient to receive payment.

This approach to user security and transaction confirmation has made users far more likely to use Alipay since nobody gets paid unless all parties are happy with the transaction. Once both parties have confirmed, money is deposited in the receiver’s account.

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How Can I Accept Alipay Payments from Customers?

Of all the payment methods in China, Alipay is one of the easiest to use. Once you sign up to receive payments via AliPay, your customers can select this as a payment method. The app allows them to enter their pin, and then you get paid – simple.

For customers just getting started with Alipay, signing up is simple. If they are a Chinese resident, all they will need is their bank and ID cards to get set up. Those residing outside of China will need to do a little more work, but getting set up is as easy as installing the app and watching the getting started tutorial.

All your customers need to do is load funds greater than 100 yuan into their Alipay Wallet, and then they can pay you via the app. If you’re using a point of sale (POS) machine, you’ll need to scan a QR code to confirm the transaction.

Is Alipay Safe?

The Alipay mobile payment app has specific characteristics to ensure your data and transactions are safe.

Some security features include:

  • Advanced Encryption – with encryption, Alipay can secure your private data, as well as make any payments safe
  • Real-Time Monitoring – Alipay’s real-time risk monitoring reviews data to detect a user’s risk level as well as review all payments
  • Risk Management – Alipay uses a risk management framework to protect from fraud and help to stop money laundering

 

Sources

Photo by Manual Joseph for Pexels

Start Accepting AliPay Payments with Rapyd

Alipay has nearly one billion active users and is used in over 55 countries around the world. Given that Chinese consumers have been some of the fastest adopters of digital payments, those unable to accept Alipay will miss out on a huge opportunity.

Rapyd offers ewallet payment methods including Alipay to let you reach more customers in more markets across Asia and beyond, increase your shopping cart conversion rates, and improve your overall customer experience.

Learn More

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