First Data enables Alipay acceptance at 35,000 North American merchants

Alipay and fin-tech services provider First Data (NYSE: FDC), today announced an expanded partnership that adds 35,000 merchants to the growing roster of businesses accepting Alipay in store. The expansion allows U.S. merchants to offer Alipay’s 600 million registered Chinese users the same, convenient payment experience they enjoy at home while traveling in the United States.

Souheil Badran

“First Data continues to be a premier partner for Alipay,” said Souheil Badran, president, Alipay Americas. “In a few short months, First Data has significantly expanded the number of merchant locations accepting Alipay through seamless integration. Now, Chinese travelers are enjoying the familiarity of their Alipay Mobile Wallet at many of their favorite locations across the United States. We look forward to continuing to partner with First Data as we aim to enable Alipay at millions of additional merchant locations in 2018.”

“Following the success of Alipay at Millennium Hotels and Resorts in Asia, we are pleased to partner with the digital payment platform again to launch the service in New York, Boston and Los Angeles in an effort to make the travel experience as seamless as possible for guests,” said Howard Wu, president – North America and CTO of Millennium Hotels and Resorts. “As a hospitality brand, we are always looking for ways to enhance the overall guest experience, and expect Alipay to be well received by Chinese travelers visiting key markets in the United States.”

The expanded partnership follows a May 2017 announcement unveiling First Data’s plans to integrate Alipay at the point-of-sale across four million U.S. merchant locations. The ongoing rollout includes merchants using First Data’s Clover suite of solutions. Clover, a leading point of sale platform, serves the needs of merchants ranging from food trucks and small retailers to regional coffee houses and even the largest sports stadiums. Alipay enablement is one of many Clover features that helps merchants across North America grow their businesses.

“We are thrilled with the significant interest we’ve seen from merchants who want to offer Alipay at the point-of-sale,” said Nandan Sheth, general manager, global debit solutions, First Data. “As our partnership continues to mature, we are excited to roll out Alipay on an even larger scale. 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.”

Alipay aims to simplify every aspect of Chinese tourists’ travel in North America, enabling them to use Alipay for everything from ride-hailing and purchasing luxury goods, to making reservations at hotels and restaurants. Through Alipay’s geolocation-based “Discover” function and push notifications within the Alipay app, Chinese travelers can locate merchants nearby, receive promotional information, and make purchasing decisions. Through the same function, Alipay also enables local merchants to better target and connect with Chinese consumers. Beyond an improved payment experience, Alipay offers a sophisticated marketing channel. Through Alipay, First Data’s merchants will be able to market to Chinese tourists before, during and after their visits, boosting exposure of their businesses among China’s rapidly expanding overseas visitors.