Commonwealth Bank today launched Alipay on its Albert terminals, meaning 94,000 Australians businesses with point of sale device will be able to accept the popular Chinese payment method.

Today’s announcement builds on the MOU signed by CommBank and Alipay back in November 2016, and adds significant scale to Alipay’s existing partnerships.

NAB announced last month that it plans to roll out Alipay on its merchants’ eftpos terminals in 2019, following a trial which is underway. And in August business-only bank Tyro said the 20,000 businesses using its eftpos solution will also be able accept payments via the popular Chinese app.

Alipay, operated by Alibaba’s Ant Financial, allows businesses to better target and connect with Chinese consumers by improving the point-of-sale experience and creating a marketing channel.

To accept Alipay, local businesses have to download the ePay app on their Albert device. Through ePay, which is an existing CommBank app provider, businesses also have the ability to further boost their sales by using location-based promotional campaigns to Alipay wallet users, even before they arrive in Australia, the bank said.

Catering for the 1.4 million Chinese tourists and 166,000 Chinese nationals studying in Australia each year is a $10.9 billion opportunity.

“Australian businesses have been calling out for their banks to partner with Alipay to improve their exposure to the rapidly expanding Chinese visitor market. We are thrilled to partner with CBA to help drive Alipay acceptance in the Australian market so that Chinese customers can use a payment method that’s familiar to them,” said George Lawson, Alipay Country Manager for Australia and New Zealand.

“Banks are pivotal to Alipay’s expansion in Australia, and the fact that CBA has a growing market share in business banking customers, means we can now switch on our technology for thousands of merchants simultaneously through their existing Albert devices. With the festive season fast approaching, businesses that use Alipay will be best placed to attract additional sales in what is a busy travel period for Chinese consumers,” he said.

Biting the Apple Pay bullet

Last week CommBank announced it will finally start accepting Apple Pay in January 2019. The bank had held off from offering the payment option, by asking the ACCC if it could collectively bargain with or boycott the Cupertino giant alongside Westpac and NAB.

That move ultimately failed, leaving ANZ as the only major bank to offer Apple Pay until CommBank’s announcement last week.

In the interim Westpac, CommBank and NAB chose to build their own digital payment app Beem It.

Commonwealth Bank says Apple Pay will be available to CBA and Bankwest customers in January 2019, in response to customer demand.

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