Stripe strikes payments deal in China with Alipay and WeChat
Stripe has announced partnerships, effective immediately, with Chinese payments firms Alipay and WeChat that means Chinese consumers will be able to shop and pay more easily on foreign webstores. Combined Alipay and WeChat have hundreds of millions of users in China but, because credit cards are not widely used there, they can experience difficulties making payments to merchants outside China. This integration will make shopping much easier.
This deal builds a previous Stripe and Alipay partnership that gave US Stripe users access to Chinese shoppers. But this broader deal will doubtless have more impact.
Stripe is a US based payments firm founded in 2010. Now available in 25 countries, Stripe has also recently launched in Hong Kong. Alipay is part of Ant Financial which is the financial division of Alibaba and is said to have over 520 million users. WeChat Pay claims more than 600 million users and is a payment app owned by Tencent Holdings.
Stripe says on their blog: “Digital wallets are the payment method of choice in mobile-first markets like China. In 2016, Alipay and WeChat Pay dominated the mobile wallet ecosystem in China, with 92% market share between them. So, today we’re introducing global support for Alipay and WeChat Pay, connecting Stripe businesses in 25+ countries to the hundreds of millions of Chinese consumers that actively use these payment methods.”
There are various payments firms out there like Stripe, competitor Square and PayPal spring immediately to mind, so this is a big deal for the US firm.It gives them a vital advantage over competitors at a time when Chinese consumers are keen to shop more and more from the west. “Demand for services from Chinese consumers is at all-time high,” Souheil Badran, president of Alipay for North America, said.
Stripe is also expanding its operations in other spheres too. Not only is it available in 25 countries (including UK, USA, Australia, France and Germany) but new countries are currently under ‘preview’. They include New Zealand, Mexico and Brazil.
To some extent, it’s still notable that payments is something of a problem for international trade and this deal goes some way to address the particular barriers that exist between China and the west.
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I use Stripe for my website bookings, fees are half the cost of PayPal for me too. You have to wait a week for payment to automatically clear to your bank but due to lower charges I don’t mind that.
Convenient for the customer too paying by card and they can choose to leave the details stored on their Stripe account for easier payments next time around. User friendly interface and integration with my booking and accounts system too make appointment booking and invoicing an automatic doddle.