Ingenico Group has partnered with Alipay, the Chinese online payment platform which is part of billionaire Jack Ma's Alibaba.com. The French company, whose business is to provide the technology involved in secure electronic transactions, announced the same on Thursday (18 August).
Ingenico's press release said that the deal would "provide both online and in-store payment solutions to Europe-wide acquirers and merchants." The Paris-based company added that European acquirers would be able to implement the Chinese online payment app via the Ingenico payment gateway. It explained that this would enhance the customer experience for Chinese tourists visiting Europe as they would be able to use the Alipay app the same way as they use it back home. "Soon, Chinese tourists can enjoy the benefit and buy flight tickets online via Alipay as well as pay with their Alipay App during their holiday shopping tours at European retailers," Ingenico said.
The French technology company said the deal highlighted the growing importance of Chinese tourists for European retailers. Citing the Financial Times and UNWTO (World Tourism Organization), it said that about 10 million Chinese visited Europe in 2014, a number that represented a total purchasing power of $21bn (£16bn).
Commenting on the deal, Philippe Lazare, CEO of Ingenico Group said, "We are very excited to partner with Alipay and contribute our unique omni-channel expertise, products and services to help them optimize the user experience and boost sales all over the world."
Alipay which boasts over 450 million active users will however currently limit the benefits of this partnership to consumers from China. "We're building the international business step by step. There's a lot to do still with our core customer base, and it's still expanding," Douglas Feagin, head of Alipay's international business was quoted as saying by Bloomberg.
Additionally, Ingenico, which processed more than 3.5 billion transactions in 2015, said the deal would benefit Chinese merchants as they would now be provided with full-service payment processing solutions. This will help Alipay optimize the processing of payments. "Consumers from all over the world can safely shop and pay online, with Ingenico processing their payments," the French company said.
This is not the first deal between the two giants. Ingenico ePayments, the online and mobile commerce division of Ingenico Group, already processes online cross-border Alipay transactions for international carriers such as Air France - KLM and Etihad.