Alipay Aims to Become an All-In-One Payment Platform

July 9, 2015         By: Michael Cheng

Ant Financial, Alibaba’s subsidiary company currently valued at $45 billion, released a new version of the Alipay mobile app for iOS and Android.

Previously known as Alipay Wallet, the timely update comes with a fresh user interface, enhanced local service options and the latest payments features.

“The new Alipay app is no longer a wallet,” said Fan Zhiming, president of Ant Financial’s payment business unit. “It is a platform which will change the way you shop, the way you spend and the way you manage your finances. It is not just another app, it is the super app tailored for every individual consumer.”

With 400 million active users, the app now supports utility bill payments from 380 cities in China. Using an Alipay QR code or barcode, individuals can initiate payments for a range of participating businesses, such as retail stores, supermarket chains (Carrefour, Ole and Walmart) and 130,000 restaurants.

For cross-border payment services, the platform covers the purchase of transportation cards in Singapore, Thailand and Korea- popular Chinese vacation hotspots. Local tourists can apply for tax rebates while traveling directly from the panel.

“Our payment capabilities are the backbone of the app. Now we are providing value-added services for both small merchants and retailers and users,” highlighted Zhiming.

There are two new tabs that separate personal transactions from merchant services. The Friends tab allows users to send and receive money instantly. A new IOU tracking section is available for personal loans. Private messaging functions are easily accessible from the tab.

For an overview of nearby businesses in the area, individuals will need to switch over to the Merchants tab. Restaurants and shops with ongoing discounts are promoted through the viewing option. Payments to merchants on e-shops and live coupons are also managed in this section.