Ant Financial has acquired UK-based currency exchange and payments company WorldFirst, which marks Ant Financial’s first big move into Europe. What makes it a success and what will it bring to China?
The deal is meant to boost Ant Financial’s global expansion in cross-border payments. It partners with overseas merchants to accept payment from Chinese tourists via Alipay HK, rendering shopping abroad more convenient to us. Meanwhile, the tie-up provides them better access to Chinese massive commerce market. An Ant Financial spokeswoman said the move would allow the two companies “to reach a greater number of customers, especially in the fast-growing area of cross border e-commerce”. This step can be regarded as a symbol that the international world is taking measures to appeal to Chinese consumers, manifesting that Chinese consumption is playing a more and more important role in the world market.
But why is it Ant Financial, or Alipay, instead of other patterns of cashless payment that have made its crucial steps to change the foreign market? We could firstly seek the answer from its unique competitive edge over other rivals. Compared with paying with the credit card like the UnionPay or VISA, using QR codes undoubtedly makes better use of the multiple functions of the mobile devices, especially in China, where the prosperous era of 4G and the promising prospect of 5G provide infinite opportunities and possibilities as well as the huge consuming audience to businesses.
Safety of E-trade
In addition to QR codes, the third-party secured transaction model was first adopted by Alipay to ensure the safety of e-trade, which helps to protect the rights and interests of both consumers and sellers.
More like a banking institution, Alipay contains a number of functions including paying for goods, electricity or phone bills and transferring accounts, repayment, etc., which no other mobile payment can surpass.
Though we have to admit that no enterprise has been truly dominant in the domain of mobile payment, it is gradually acknowledged that the unlimited business philosophy makes Alipay Hong Kong stand out among numerous domestic competitors to be the pioneer overseas. Alipay once established a short-term goal that users would be free from bringing wallets while traveling around the world in 5 years at most. Since 2016 Alipay has focused on the overall layout in Britain, one of the most popular feature targets of Chinese tourists. So far we could say that Alipay has made a giant stride forward.