Ant Financial’s premium payment service has expanded into Spain

Ant Financial’s premium payment service has expanded into Spain

The Chinese payment firm announced this week that Spanish retailers will now support Alipay capability in their stores thanks to an agreement between it and Spanish bank BBVA.

Alipay, used widely by Chinese tourists, currently has around 400 million users worldwide, according to the company. BBVA is the first Spanish bank to offer Alipay capability domestically.

“Before, [Chinese] visitors had to pay with an actual card, when they are used to the Alipay application,” Carlos Laita, innovation and market development director for BBVA said.

“Now, a Chinese user can come to a [Spanish] shop, scan a QR code, and BBVA will handle the transaction with Alipay.”

BBVA will integrate Alipay into its Smartpay service, which facilitates mobile payments for retailers.

“We do expect that this partnership will grow Smartpay users,” Laita said. “The shop will use the Smartpay app, and Chinese users can keep doing their shopping on Alipay.”

The capability to push out discounts and promotions to Chinese visitors will also be coming to participating Spanish merchants and retailers, according to BBVA.

Spain receives around 400,000 Chinese tourists per year and these visitors are the highest spenders of all tourists according to BBVA.

Adding the ability for those spenders to pay using their preferred payment method is sure to be a draw for participating Spanish retailers; for Alipay, the partnership allows the service to expand into a new market, whilst continuing to serve its core consumers — an expansion strategy Alipay has been successfully employing in various markets for some time.

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