Ant Financial Cooperates With Fuzhou To Develop Cashless Society

Ant Financial, the financial arm of the Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba has clinched an agreement with Fuzhou to develop a cashless society.

Fuzhou will be the third Chinese to develop a cashless shopping environment together with Ant Financial following Hangzhou and Wuhan. This cashless development will be supported by an alliance which has been formed between Ant Financial and over 20 institutions including Fuzhou Municipal Bureau of Commerce and State Grid Fujian Electric Power Company.

The campaign is expected to help over 90% of merchants and businesses in the city to operate cashless by the end of this year.

Currently, 95% of the taxi fleet, 85% of supermarkets and convenience stores and 80% of restaurants accept mobile payments and customers between 20 and 40 years old make up 80% of all these users.

In the partnership, Ant Financials, through its Alipay payment service, will aid the city in a few areas of development, namely transport, commercial and government services. These developments will set up the infrastructure which allows residents in Fuzhou to shop and travel simply with a smart phone.

According to RFi Group’s data on payments, Alipay is among the top 3 most important payment methods in China, with 74% of the banking population having used it in the last 12 months.

Tencent Partners with Wirecard to Launch WeChat Pay in Europe

Tencent has partnered with Wirecard, a Germany-based payments service provider, to launch its WeChat Pay payments service in Europe.

European retailers will be able to accept payments made via WeChat Pay, a social media application that incorporates P2P and mobile payments. The new payments method will be implemented by Wirecard.

The launch of the payments service in Europe is aimed at Chinese tourists, who prefer to make mobile payments when shopping overseas. They have also been the largest spending group of tourists in Europe, spending more than USD 261 billion abroad.

The launch of WeChat Pay in Europe will put Tencent in direct competition with Alipay, which has been present on the continent since 2015. Both Chinese payments services have been made available via Wirecard, which acts as an acquirer, centralizing and processing all the transactions for a retailer.

Chinese tourists can open their WeChat wallet feature, show the barcode on their smartphone to the retailer, and the shop assistant will scan the code to activate the payment process. The solution will be ready to go live in November 2017.