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Alipay to Power Half the Vending Machines in China’s Subways by 2013
Alipay has reached deals with 11 Chinese vending machine distributors on Alipay On-site, the company announced today. Alipay On-site is a solution that enables users to make payments with the Alipay Wallet app at vending machines.
Currently over a hundred vending machines support the on-site payment solution. Alipay’s goal for this year is to have half of the vending machines in subways across China support the solution.
It is estimated that the 11 distributors cover over 90% of China’s vending machine market. Alipay also plans to work with vending machine manufacturers to pre-install the solution.
Ubox (Youbao in Chinese) is a new generation of vending machine that supports a variety of Internet services such as WeChat QR code payments. Li Minghao, president of Ubox, said the company’s 12 thousand machines would support Alipay On-site soon.
But existing vending machines have to update the software to support the Alipay solution. It costs about 1000 yuan (about $160) for each conventional machine to update software or 50 yuan (about $7) for a more intelligent machine to buy and add a module into it.
As Youbao designs vending machines by itself, a device for collecting bills and coins installed in its products costs about 4000 yuan ($650). So the Alipay solution must be more cost-effective for new devices. One more advantage with Alipay solution is it transfers money received to sellers’ accounts real-time while traditionally vending machines have to wait for about 15 days.