Samsung is piggy-backing on the vast user base of Alibaba's Alipay network to expand its mobile payments service in China.
Under a deal struck with Ant Financial, the financial services arm of the giant Alibaba group, Chinese users of Alipay will now be able to use their account on eligible Samsung mobile phones with Samsung Pay.
Fan Zhiming, president of payment business unit at Ant Financial, says: “Alipay covers the vast majority of online payment use cases. At the same time, it also developed a variety of offline use cases, including restaurants, supermarkets, convenience stores, taxis, hospitals and public services. The technology integration facilitated by this partnership with Samsung Electronics will make the payment process faster and more convenient when users make payments at stores where Alipay is accepted.”
Alipay, which claims 450 million users and processes 170 million transactions per day, currently relies on QR codes provided by the retailer to make physical transactions. By integrating the code within the Samsung Pay app, users will benefit from a more frictionless experience, revealing the code with a simple swipe of the mobile screen.
Samsung Pay, which earlier this week announced $850 million in transactions in the nine months since launching in its home market, is battling Apple and local handset manufacturers for market share in the huge but competitive Chinese mobile money market.