Close

Choose a country

United KingdomEnglish
South AfricaEnglish
IndiaEnglish
InternationalEnglish

Retailers hope for a boost as Alipay is now accepted in the UK

Blog
24th August 2017

Alipay is one of the leading mobile-based payment systems in China. It’s a part of the enormous Alibaba retail empire and is used by over half a billion customers. It has never before been available in the UK, but this month (August 2017) Barclays started a trial that they plan to run until early 2018. Retailers will be able to accept Alipay payments facilitated by Barclays.

We have credit cards, Apple Pay, Google Wallet, Square Cash, and PayPal; who needs yet another payment system?

There are two answers to this question. First, the retailers offering Alipay in their stores are hoping to capture more business from Chinese tourists. Although the total number of Alipay users is enormous, they are mostly Chinese, so any immediate gains will be captured by retailers in locations where large numbers of tourists can be found.

Second, though, is the customer. Alipay has an enviable user base in China and they clearly believe that they can become a more globally accepted payment method, thanks to their experience back home.

Alipay does go beyond payment alone, by allowing brands to have featured pages right inside the payment system; it is possible to generate additional sales direct from the mobile device. They clearly believe that the additional functionality of their system, and the large existing user base, will help it win out against American rivals such as PayPal and Apple.

I think it’s an important challenge to the payment market. As we have seen in many other areas, there is often only one real winner once a network gets to a certain size – or network externality as economists like to say. It is hard for new social networks to challenge Facebook or new auction sites to challenge eBay. Once there are enough users on the network, then growth is almost self-perpetuating.

The same will be true for new payment systems and the reality is that the days of carrying a plastic card with a magnetic stripe may well be numbered. If your mobile device has all your payment information and can be secured more effectively than cards, then your wallet is likely to be much lighter in the near future.

The Alipay trial is limited at present, but assuming it goes well, I’m sure they will be looking for European customers to start using the system. Whether it will replace the other mobile-based systems only time can tell, but as we have already seen with many other apps, most customers don’t care about the country of origin of software – they just want it to work. Alipay has just as much chance of success as any of the systems already available in the UK, if they can offer a better service and leverage their existing large user base.

What do you think about the Alipay trial? Will customers embrace it? Leave a comment below and let me know, or get in touch on LinkedIn.


Helen Murray
Article by: Helen Murray

News & Insights

Webhelp Payment Services
Solution Designer
Service Provider
Technology Enabler
Blog
Meet our Advisors – Jennifer from Germany (ep.2)

An emotional elderly customer called our Helpdesk/ Customer Support. The recent passing of his wife and the lack of visitors due to the lockdown had him feeling very lonely. So, he tried to scan and print his old slides to create a photo album of all his happy memories to feel a little closer to his family. He had technical troubles and called up rather upset. First, I comforted him and...

Read 212CAAF2-CC0E-4D90-9134-028C45BDF837 Created with sketchtool.
News
Press Release: Jean-Baptiste Decaix appointed Chief Client Officer of the Webhelp Group, member of the Executive Committee.

Paris, June 22th 2020. With the appointment of Jean-Baptiste Decaix as Group Chief Client Officer, Webhelp reinforces its international senior management and reaffirms its ambition to become a top 3 worldwide leader. A graduate of CentraleSupélec and an executive MBA from ESSEC-Mannheim,...

Read 212CAAF2-CC0E-4D90-9134-028C45BDF837 Created with sketchtool.
News
Jean-Baptiste Decaix appointed Chief Client Officer of the Webhelp Group, member of the Executive Committee.

Paris, June 22th 2020. With the appointment of Jean-Baptiste Decaix as Group Chief Client Officer, Webhelp reinforces its international senior management and reaffirms its ambition to become a top 3 worldwide leader. A graduate of CentraleSupélec and an executive MBA from ESSEC-Mannheim,...

Read 212CAAF2-CC0E-4D90-9134-028C45BDF837 Created with sketchtool.
Whitepaper
The Summer of B2B Marketplaces

Following our last two studies “2017 - The spring of B2B Marketplaces” and “2018 - B2B marketplaces are blossoming”, we once again joined forces with the strategy consulting firm Roland Berger and with Mirakl to take stock of this new year of development for B2B marketplaces. This...

Read 212CAAF2-CC0E-4D90-9134-028C45BDF837 Created with sketchtool.
Case Studies
[Fashion] Fifty Jeans – Launch your brand without cashflow problems!

...

Read 212CAAF2-CC0E-4D90-9134-028C45BDF837 Created with sketchtool.
×

Webhelp Cookies Preference Centre

Strictly Necessary Cookies
The website requires the use of cookies for essential functional requirements and these are outlined in the cookies policy.

Enhanced Functional Cookies
Some features of this website use services provided by third parties websites. These features use cookies to implement their services on this website and may collect data about your visit to help them optimize their functionality. The Webhelp cookies policy outlines the cookies used by these services.

We have links to social networking such as Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.
These websites are third party sites. We do not place cookies on their behalf, and do not have control over the way they collect or use your data.
We encourage you to read more about their policies:
Twitter
LinkedIn
Facebook