Alipay, the mobile-payment service used by 600 million consumers, and processor First Data Corp. are expanding the number of U.S. merchant locations that can accept the China-based payment method in stores, Alipay announced Monday.
The expansion comes nearly a year after the two companies said First Data would move Alipay acceptance beyond some high-end merchant locations. Alipay is the digital wallet from China’s Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.
One of the new U.S. merchants is Millennium Hotels and Resorts, which will accept Alipay in New York, Boston, and Los Angeles. Alipay has said an estimated 4 million Chinese tourists annually visit the United States. The hotel chain has accepted it at some of its properties in Asia.
In October, point-of-sale terminal maker VeriFone Systems Inc. announced taxis using its equipment in New York City and Las Vegas would accept Alipay.
“As our partnership continues to mature, we are excited to roll out Alipay on an even larger scale,” Nandan Sheth, First Data general manager of global debit solutions, said in a statement. “Businesses that offer Alipay are able to benefit from the growing number of Chinese travelers coming to the U.S. by offering a frictionless payment experience that transcends country, currency, and language barriers.”
Sheth came to First Data as part of its acquisition a year ago of Acculynk Inc., whose gateway services are now used to link to Alipay.
In other Alipay news, the company announced a similar acceptance deal with payments provider FreedomPay, which has a strong presence in Las Vegas, Alipay says.
Alipay also released the results of a survey that found 91% of all Chinese travelers would be more willing to shop and spend at international merchants if they accepted Chinese mobile payments.
Another finding is that 65% of Chinese tourists made a mobile payment while traveling internationally in comparison with 11% of non-Chinese tourists.