Alipay pushes global expansion strategy through transit cards

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Alipay is making headway on its promises to expand globally and has now entered into an agreement with several foreign transportation card firms, which will allow Alipay users to buy transport service cards through the Alipay app as they travel abroad.

Basically, Chinese tourists will now be able to purchase public transit cards from their Alipay mobile wallet and will 20141103-alipay-payments-in-chinapick them up at airports and designated pick-up points upon arrival. In Singapore, as an example, the transportation card will cost 50 Singapore dollars (USD 38.45) and leftover funds will be transferred back to the users’ Alipay account when they leave.

The service is now available in Singapore, Thailand and Macau and will soon launch in South Korea through the T-money transportation card. Alipay is also negotiating with Octopus Holdings to bring this service to Hong Kong. Overall, 190 million people will have access to the program through the Alipay platform and as Chinese have become increasingly wealthy, travel has been an important leisure activity, and an increasingly lucrative one for the companies now servicing them.

Domestically in China, Alipay has already started to expand into transit services and clearly sees potential in this segment overseas both in terms of revenue and brand recognition which, outside of China, is not huge. 

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