Alibaba brings Alipay to Europe in biggest expansion – CNBC

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Alipay has been expanding out of China in recent times. Alibaba and Ant Financial upped their stake in Indian payments firm Paytm last year as it looks to expand into India. Peng revealed to CNBC that the company is “actively looking” for more partners in Asia as it looks to go deeper into the region.

But the firm does not plan to invest heavily in payment firms in Europe just yet. Ant Financial is talking to a number of partners from financial institutions to restaurants and theatres across Europe to get them on board with Alipay. Merchants will be able to view the shopping habits on Chinese consumers spending in their stores through Alipay’s dashboard.

Last year, it struck a deal with Wirecard, a German payment processing company, which will let merchants using Wirecard’s point-of-sales terminals accept Chinese visitors’ purchases made with Alipay.

Partnerships will be key for the platform in order to get merchants sending through offers and deals. Alipay does not compete directly with the likes of Samsung Pay and Apple Pay as both services just allow people to purchase items with their phone. Instead, with the focus on allowing merchants to use Alipay to help market to customers and learn their behavior, Ant Financial sees it as a tool to drive revenues.

“Merchants are not crying for another payment solution. What they want is more business. We are not a payment service, we are more than payments. Payment is very critical part of the circle, it is not the only part of the circle,” Peng told CNBC.

“For merchants it’s the same story, they want to know Chinese consumers, Asian consumers, Japanese, South Korean, Indians, but it’s hard for them to know their overseas customer because they lack a platform. That’s what we are doing: connecting consumers and merchants together to help them connect better.”

Peng did admit that finding local partners was “a bit challenging” given the scale of customers the company needs to get on board.

Chinese consumers will be able to use Alipay in the U.K., Germany, France and Italy to begin with starting in the summer.

Alibaba brings Alipay to Europe in biggest expansion – CNBC