Alipay, Marqeta Team Up To Alipay’s Payment Processing Ambition

October 27, 2017         By: Steven Anderson

It’s almost getting to the point where it’s not even news any more, but once again, Alipay recently landed a fresh connection in North America to offer services to the growing Chinese tourist class. This time, the connection is between itself and Marqeta, a payment card issuer with a focus on open application programming interfaces (APIs).

With the new connection in place, Alipay’s payment process gets a real-time boost, making it easier for a new quantity of retailers in the United States to offer Alipay service to Chinese travelers going abroad. Reports put the total number of Marqeta-compatible merchants in the US in the “millions” range, which should prove quite helpful for those checking out the US on vacation.

Alipay’s North American president Souheil Badran noted “We’re thrilled to partner with Marqeta and take advantage of the most modern, flexible and scalable payment platform in the market today. Marqeta’s technology is unsurpassed for flexibility, security, speed, and ease of implementation – elements that ensure we are bringing the best experience possible to our fast-growing base of users and merchants.”

It’s a familiar story, but one that grows with every new passage. Alipay is frantically devoted to expanding its operational envelope and getting its services in as many retailers as is possible. It has such a lead right now over its direct competitor—WeChat Pay—that I begin to doubt it could ever recover.

Still, that may be for the best; given that the country seems to regard WeChat Pay as being for minor purchases while Alipay is for the “big bucks” crowd, the Chinese tourist class likely isn’t using WeChat Pay much to begin with. Why bother to compete in a pool you’re not likely to be seen in terribly often anyway? It’s got a hefty slug of the Chinese market locked down, and that’s one of the largest markets on the planet. Sometimes it’s best not to let perfect be the enemy of good, and not make an expansion push into a market you may not be welcome in anyway.

It’s one more leap forward for Alipay, meanwhile, and pretty soon, Chinese tourists should be able to find Alipay service just about anywhere they go.