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Alipay makes big moves in Europe, East Africa, New Zealand

By the end of 2018, the payments juggernaut will be available in 20 European countries, increasing from the six countries it was present in last year. On the other side of the world, Alipay is now available for the Bank of New Zealand’s merchant customers.

Alipay is said to have signed deals with 40 digital wallets companies and more than 100 banks across Europe to drive its European growth. Li Wang, Alipay’s EMEA head, told the Financieel Dagblad,  “You can’t be successful if you’re playing defence,” noting that, “the payments market is rapidly changing in Europe.”

The payments outfit is also in possession of the wherewithal to fund its European expansion, as Ant Financial, which is a part of the larger Alibaba Group, recently raised a staggering USD 14 billion.

Alipay will also be introduced in East Africa shortly, as it has just signed an MoU with Kenyan FI Equity Bank and Red Dot Payment, a Singapore-based online payment outfit to introduce it to the region. Jack Ngare, managing director of Finserve, a subsidiary of Equity Bank, says that they “hope to roll out the Chinese mobile payment service in East Africa by the end of July.”

At the other end of the globe, Alipay has integrated with Verifone and the Bank of New Zealand (BNZ) to offer the latter’s merchant customers the ability to use its payment services. The BNZ expects the service to be available in July, after completing its current pilot phase. It will be the first bank in New Zealand to offer Alipay. Using Alipay will make purchases easier for Chinese customers on holiday in the country, which spent to the tune of NZ 1.5 billion in 2017. Alipay is available at thousands of merchants in the country.

Alipay has also recently invested USD 222 million in Paytm Mall, an Indian ecommerce platform, with SoftBank.

By Elliot Lyons, Research Analyst

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