Financial technology giant Ant Group has expanded the number of Asian e-wallets and payment apps that it supports in mainland China, bolstering its cross-border operations and making it easier for more foreign tourists to pay for goods and services in the country.
Hangzhou-based Ant on Tuesday announced that its “Alipay+-in-China” (A+China) programme now supports 10 different Asian e-wallets and payment apps on the mainland after adding seven more digital services to its ecosystem.
“A growing variety of mobile payment providers are joining this ecosystem of cross-border digital commerce, from mobile wallets and banking apps to independent merchant apps and super-apps,” said Douglas Feagin, Ant senior vice-president and head of its Alipay+ cross-border mobile payment services.
These collaborations reflect increased efforts by Ant, an affiliate of South China Morning Post owner Alibaba Group Holding, to expand its operations across other major economies in Asia.
Payment app AlipayHK, Malaysia’s Touch ’n Go e-wallet and Kakao Pay of South Korea joined the A+China programme late last year.
The 10 Asian digital payment services supported by Ant on the mainland cover a total population of more than 175 million in Southeast and East Asia, according to a statement released by Ant.
“We will invest faster and deeper in payment and digital marketing technologies to help our partners and merchants achieve robust, omnichannel growth,” Ant’s Feagin said.
Many foreign tourists have long found it difficult to pay for goods and services on the mainland, where contactless payment has become the norm.
Ant’s A+China programme is made possible through the guidance of the People’s Bank of China (PBOC), the country’s central bank, according to the fintech company. It said the other organisations supporting the programme include the PBOC-affiliated NetsUnion Clearing Corp, international credit card operators and other major financial institutions in mainland China.