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.