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China's Alipay inks deal with Singapore start-up

China's cashless payment service provider Alipay plans to expand its 20,000 acceptance points in Singapore, and will soon open up the platform to Singapore banking users.

On Tuesday (Aug 22), it inked a deal with a local start-up to further this ambition.

Singapore start-up CC Financial Services, which promotes its CCPay brand of mobile payments, is the local partner for acquiring merchants to get on the Alipay platform.

The primary goal is to better serve the 2.8 million tourists from China yearly.

Said Mr Melvin Ooi, Alipay's country manager for Singapore, Sri Lanka and Maldives: "With Alipay, Chinese visitors will find it very convenient to do their shopping, dine and other activities in Singapore... This collaboration with CCPay will provide a platform for merchants to facilitate safe, fast and cashless payments for the Chinese tourists in Singapore."

But it will "soon" open up the payment platform to Singapore banking users, said Mr Ooi, declining to provide a timeline.

Currently, Alipay users must either have a China banking account for debiting transactions or a China bank-issued credit card.

The number of acceptance points jumped after Alipay tied up with ComfortDelgro to accept the payment scheme in its 17,000 taxis last month (July).

Prime Taxis has accepted Alipay since March.

The rest of the acceptance points are in Chinatown, Sentosa and Orchard Road.

The company wants to expand these to Bugis, Geylang and the heartland, such as in Clementi.

Since its founding in March this year, CC Financial Services has acquired more than 600 merchants contributing to the 20,000 Alipay acceptance points.

The plan is to grow the number of merchants to 6,000.

Said Mr Jed Huang, CC Financial Services founder and director: "The use of the Alipay cashless payment platform will help to revitalise these old shopping centres and, at the same time, attract more locals and tourists to shop here."

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