Alipay, the online payment platform operated by Ant Financial Services Group, has an active userbase of more than 520 million. In 2016, Australia had 1.2 million Chinese visitors while New Zealand had 400,000.
A statement from Smartpay said the Alipay rollout would begin with a pilot programme in New Zealand that would make it possible for participating merchants to generate a transaction specific QR code via the terminal for their customers to scan. Acceptance would come back to the terminal and can be integrated with the Point of Sale terminal.
Most merchants who wish to accept Alipay can obtain this functionality through a software update. After rollout in New Zealand, a pilot in Australia will follow in the next few months.
Smartpay said Alipay also helped merchants to market their offer to millions of Chinese tourists through location-based marketing and loyalty rewards.
A percentage of the total transaction value will accrue to Smartpay.
Smartpay managing director Bradley Gerdis said: “The partnership with Alipay aligns with Smartpay’s strategy of becoming a leading independent financial transaction acquirer in Australia and New Zealand.
“Innovation is a key factor in our strategy to offer a complete end-to-end acquiring product and this partnership with Alipay will give us a competitive point of difference in important market segments, particularly tourism and hospitality.
“Our implementation of Alipay showcases our market leading SmartConnect cloud-based open API payments platform as we leverage our investment in this cutting-edge technology to bring value-added solutions to our merchants and their customers.”
Alipay country manager (ANZ) George Lawson said: “Smartpay are early adopters of Alipay in Australia and New Zealand and are well-positioned to benefit from the high growth in Chinese visitor numbers.
"Alipay is not only a payment capability used by tourists but also by thousands of Chinese students and migrants. These are very lucrative markets that are rapidly expanding.
“Beyond an improved point-of-sale experience, Alipay offers a sophisticated marketing channel. Through Alipay, Smartpay clients will be able to market to Chinese tourists before, during and after their visits to Australia and New Zealand, boosting exposure of their businesses amongst China’s rapidly expanding middle class."