British payment service provider Barclaycard has announced a new agreement with Chinese payment platform Alipay to enable merchants to accept Alipay transactions in stores across the UK.
Following a two-year pilot period, the agreement will enable UK retailers to take full advantage of the “growing volume and buying power” of Chinese visitors.
Rob Cameron, CEO, Global Head of Payment Acceptance at Barclaycard, said: “Thanks to the significant investments we’ve made in our platform, our clients have access to a growing range of payment types, each of which can help them increase market share by meeting the needs of new customers.
In the announcement, it is said that the UK has over 393,000 Chinese residents and 95,000 Chinese students, along with an expected 483,000 visits from China in 2019, up 43% on 2017 – according to VisitBritain.
The increase in market size is also demonstrated by the fact that the number of Alipay users in the UK has doubled in the last year.
Cameron continued: “Our new agreement with Alipay gives retailers a vital tool to help them seize the revenue opportunity posed by the growth of Chinese visitors to the UK.
“At the same time, Alipay users will benefit from a more convenient and familiar in-store payments process – enhancing their overall shopping experience.”
The partnership aims to allow retailers to capitalise on the growing market of Chinese tourists and to use mobile payments over cash while abroad by accepting Alipay.
UK retailers will be able to accept in-store Alipay payments without replacing their existing point-of-sale system. Alipay serves over one billion users worldwide together with local e-wallet partners.
Head of Europe, Middle East and Africa at Alipay, Roland Palmer spoke of the companies excitement about the new partnership and how important it is to provide people with a “mobile payment experience that they are already familiar with.”
He explained: “Through this strategic partnership, Alipay will now be able to offer many more UK merchants the opportunity to connect and engage with a growing number of Chinese visitors.
“This is another step forwards in our vision to offer Chinese tourists a seamless travel and payment experience when travelling overseas.”