Alipay, 99 Ranch Market Team Up in Mobile Payments
Sometimes, when you’re traveling—especially for a long period of time—all you want is a little taste of home. Sure, we travel for the new and exotic, but sometimes all you want is that old and familiar for a little while. Too much new can be jarring, and a new move Alipay tipped us off about between itself and 99 Ranch Market will help bring that taste of home to the growing Chinese tourist class with a mobile payments edge.
99 Ranch Market is one of the biggest Asian supermarket chains in the United States. It’s got locations in seven states, including California, Maryland and Texas. So it was a handy fit for Ant Financial to come in and allow 99 Ranch Market shoppers to pay for their various groceries with the Alipay mobile payments system.
The service can be brought in thanks to a connection to CITCON, one of the leaders in cross-border mobile payments technology that gives merchants a better ability to put Chinese mobile wallets to work in their own businesses. The full array of options will be in place beyond that, including both the “Discover” function and a slate of marketing tools.
99 Ranch Market marketing manager Juliet C. noted “Our partnership with Alipay will enable us to offer our Chinese customers traveling in the U.S. with a familiar checkout experience that minimizes stress at the register, whether its language barriers or payment concerns, while also enabling us to better connect with them and draw them into the stores.”
This isn’t the first time Alipay has made such inroads into the United States and it likely won’t be the last. Every such move like this gives Alipay that little extra validity, that little extra reason to pick it up in the field. In fact, it might well be enough to pull some users away from other platforms, and given the nature of the Chinese mobile payments market right now, “a little extra market share” isn’t a bad thing to have on hand.
Alipay is now that much more convenient for its shoppers, and thus that much more valuable. It’s likely to prove useful for the platform, and given how far mobile payments in China have caught on so far, every bit of market share helps.