Alipay continues European drive for goal with UEFA

Chinese payment platform Alipay has announced a new partnership with the governing body of football in Europe, UEFA, to further push fan engagement experiences.

With the aim to “reinvent” Chinese fan engagement with European national football, the partnership has fabricated a new ‘UEFA lifestyle account’.

The account aims to provide insights into European national team competitions, as well as a mini-program where Chinese fans can apply for tickets to the upcoming EURO 2020 directly through UEFA.

These features are accessible to consumers within the Alipay app – claimed to be the world’s most-used mobile app outside social apps.

“There is a real appetite amongst Chinese football fans for UEFA’s national team competitions, where they have the chance to see some of the best players on the planet in action,” said UEFA’s director of marketing Guy-Laurent Epstein.

“We want to be in a position to give our fans premium content in their own language and our new partnerships with Alipay allow us to do exactly this.”

The governing body stated that the collaboration is the first of its kind for an international sports organisation and it also acts as the first time that UEFA has allowed a digital ticketing channel outside worldwide.

“We feel extremely delighted to be able to provide an innovative and inclusive solution in digital fan engagement, providing Chinese fans with more native experiences,” said Sabrina Peng, CMO, Ant Financial.

News of fan engagement solutions follows Alipay’s already existing agreements with UEFA.

In November 2018, the Chinese payment platform signed an eight-year deal to become UEFA’s Official Global Payment Partner, Official Global Digital Wallet and Official Global FinTech Partner, for men’s national team events till 2026.

Peng continued: “Alipay has accumulated vast experiences in using mini-programs as a powerful tool to enable businesses in China and around the world. It is exciting to see the application being extended to football.

“We look forward to deepening the integration between football and technology in our partnership with UEFA in the next few years.”

Alipay has recently secured significant deals with key European mobile wallet providers for the promotion of QR code payment interoperability to help travelers in Europe from China.