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Established 1996
Wednesday 11 December 2019


Payments Awards 2019

Barclaycard partners with Alipay in UK

Written by Peter Walker

Barclaycard has announced a new agreement with Alipay, which will allow retailers to accept Alipay transactions in stores across the UK.

UK retailers will now be able to accept in-store Alipay payments without replacing their existing point of sale systems. Building on a pilot over the past two years, the new deal will enable UK retailers to take advantage of the growing volume and buying power of Chinese visitors.

Feedback from retailers during the trial was positive, according to Barclaycard, and the bank is already in discussions with around 70 clients interested in becoming early adopters.

Earlier this month, Barclaycard signed a card acceptance partnership with UnionPay International, a subsidiary of China UnionPay. The deal will enable its 110,000 UK merchants to accept UnionPay through a phased roll-out that will begin this summer.

Rob Cameron, global head of payment acceptance at Barclaycard, said: “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.”

Roland Palmer, head of Europe, Middle East and Africa at Alipay, added: “Through this strategic partnership, Alipay will now be able to offer many more UK merchants the opportunity to connect and engage with a growing number of Chinese visitors.

“This is another step forwards in our vision to offer Chinese tourists a seamless travel and payment experience when travelling overseas.”

VisitBritain is expecting 483,000 visits from China in 2019, up 43 per cent on 2017, with Chinese visitors expected to spend more than £1 billion this year, up 50 per cent. The increase in market size is also demonstrated by the fact that the number of Alipay users in the UK has doubled in the last year.

According to a 2018 survey by Nielsen, 93 per cent of Chinese tourists said they would likely spend more in a store that accepted mobile payments. In addition, among the merchants surveyed that had adopted Alipay, nearly 60 per cent said that they had seen growth in both foot traffic and revenue.

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