Barclaycard, which processes nearly half of the UK’s credit and debit card transactions, has extended an existing provisional agreement with Alipay, enabling retailers across the country to accept the Chinese payment app at the point-of-sale.
Barclaycard first launched a pilot with Alipay in 2017, testing the QR code-based mobile shopping app in eight retail stores across the UK.
The new agreement will enable Barclays' entire network of 11,000 merchants to accept in-store Alipay payments without replacing their existing point-of-sale system. Barclaycard says it is already in discussions with around 70 clients interested in becoming early adopters.
Rob Cameron, CEO, global head of payment acceptance at Barclaycard, says: “Thanks to the significant investments we’ve made in our platform, our clients have access to a growing range of payment types, each of which can help them increase market share by meeting the needs of new customers.
The move comes on the back of stats from VisitBritain, which is expecting 483,000 visits from China in 2019, up 43% on 2017, with Chinese visitors expected to spend more than £1 billion this year, up 50%, moving it well into the UK’s top 10 tourism markets.
Says Cameron: “Our new agreement with Alipay gives retailers a vital tool to help them seize the revenue opportunity posed by the growth of Chinese visitors to the UK. At the same time, Alipay users will benefit from a more convenient and familiar in-store payments process - enhancing their overall shopping experience.”