Alipay, the online payment offering of Chinese B2C giant Alibaba, announced its “instant access” program today in an effort to make the initiative an openID like service for various ecommerce sites to consolidate its market position and compete against other rivals.
By using it, customers can easily login to “instant access”-ready ecommerce sites using their Alipay account, without the need of registering at each one of them. Customers can also grant these sites access to some of their information such as delivery address, which means they could let the online shopping sites that have adopted the solution directly retrieve their delivery address, so they don’t have to fill it out every time.
This is a smart move by Alipay, saving a lot of hassles for customers who are regular online buyers. It’s said that Alipay has got 1,500 websites onboard at the launch of its “instant access” program, including many big names such as Newwegg China, Meituan, Lashou, Okbuy, VIPShop, Mecox Lane and so on, and the number is expected to grow to 400 or so by the end of this August. There’re more than 12,400 online merchants in China as of the end of June, which offer consumers with both abundant choices and lots of inconvenience at the same time, since online shoppers have to register at every site and fill out delivery address for them every time after buying something.
With more internet companies including Tencent, Renren and Weibo releasing their own open platform offerings and providing users with OpenID like(like QQ Connect, Weibo and Renren) service, Alipay is finally in train to present its own counterpart. The Paypal like service is now the largest online payment solution in China with over 550 million registered accounts, but there’re still many other similar service such as Yeepay, 99bill and so on. Providing such service will definitely consolidate Alipay’s market share, making it better positioned for the competition.