Alipay Eyes Entering Singapore

Alipay, the leading Chinese cashless payment interface, is eyeing a significant expansion in Singapore. Alipay is a subsidiary of Ant Financial, which is an affiliate company owned by the ecommerce giant Alibaba founded and owned by Jack Ma. On the 22nd of August, Alipay signed an agreement with CCPay, a digital payment provider owned by a Singaporean startup CC Financial Services, to work as its local partner and acquire more merchants in the city-state. Alipay wants to expand its presence beyond the twenty thousand acceptance points it has in Singapore right now and it intends to offer the cashless payment platform to banking users sometime soon.

Alipay primarily caters to Chinese tourists in Singapore. Almost three million Chinese tourists visit Singapore every year. They use Alipay for everything from shopping to dining and a plethora of activities while on holiday. The expansion will help the Chinese tourists use Alipay at more merchants so they can rely entirely on the fast, safe cashless transactions. However, the company clearly wants to venture into Singapore and facilitate the transformation to a cashless society.

Alipay Eyes Entering Singapore

Melvin Ooi, the country manager of Alipay for Singapore, Maldives and Sri Lanka, has reportedly said that the principal objective is to help Chinese tourists use the digital payment platform wherever they are on the island and whatever they buy or consume. Their next objective is to offer the same service to Singaporeans wherein they can connect their bank accounts and make cashless payments. Presently, only Chinese citizens or those who have debit and credit cards or accounts with a bank based in China can use Alipay in Singapore.

In recent months, Alipay has been expanding its presence in Singapore. It already has ComfortDelgro accepting the portal for its seventeen thousand taxis. Prime Taxis has been accepting Alipay from March. There are many acceptance points in Chinatown, Orchard Road and Sentosa. Now the company intends to have a presence in Bugis, Geylang and even Clementi.

CC Financial Services is a Singapore based startup. It was founded in March, 2017. It expanded quickly and had over six hundred merchants at the time of teaming up with Alipay. CC Financial Services now aspires to bring over six thousand merchants in the fold to accept Alipay. While the initial expansion will be in and around tourist hotspots, the larger objective seems to be enabling citizens and tourists of Singapore to go cashless for any and every purchase.

Alipay’s expansion and the growth of CC Financial Services come at a time when the government of Singapore is also trying to encourage cashless transactions. Vivian Balakrishnan, the foreign minister and minister in charge for Smart Nation initiative, has stated on record that the future is a cashless society, digital integration and new age development that would stand the test of time. With Alipay acceptance points being set up at more merchants and people having more options to pay for their purchases in a safe way, a cashless society doesn’t seem to be a distant dream but an inevitable reality.

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Categories: Computers & Tech
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