BBVA is to provide a bridgehead into Spain for Alipay, the QR code-based mobile payment service from Chinese giant Ant Financial.
The project, overseen by the bank's New Digital Business team, will see BBVA add Alipay as a payment option on its SmartPay mobile app and work with Spanish merchants to adjust their cash registers to accept the new payment mode.
The deal with BBVA is one of a string of agreements struck by Ant Financial with European banks and payment processors, enabling Chinese tourists to use Alipay while shopping abroad.
By the end of the year, one and a half million Chinese holidaymakers are expected to visit Spain, spending a total of EUR1 billion.
José Fernández da Ponte, head of business development and new ventures at BBVA, comments: “This agreement is a great opportunity to service this growing market of visitors to Spain while allowing Spanish stores to promote sales and special offers directly to Chinese tourists.”
He says BBVA is the first Spanish financial institution to cooperate with Alipay for mobile payment services.