Alipay teams up with Canadian cross-border payment firm SnapPay to expand mobile payment reach

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Alipay is teaming up with Canadian cross-border payment provider SnapPay to bring the popular mobile payment app to grocery chain FoodyMart, a move that will further expand Alipay’s footprint in North America.

SnapPay, a Canadian partner of Alipay International, allows merchants in Canada and the US to accept digital payments from Chinese consumers in their local currencies using the Alipay app. The company said the solution benefits both retailers and consumers by reducing fees for merchants and lowering cost of purchase for consumers.

“North American retailers gain access to billions of untapped potential revenues by simply offering their customers the option to pay with the mobile apps and currency that they’re familiar with,” said Chris Renton, Chief Growth Officer of SnapPay.

While mobile payments in North America are still in the beginning stages compared with China, said Renton, the company sees tremendous potential for growth in Chinese tourists’ strong spending power and the millions of Chinese immigrants and students living in the country.

Chinese outbound tourism spending grew to $261 billion in 2016, an 11-fold increase of the amount spent a decade earlier. According to marketing research firm Nielson, more than 90% of Chinese tourists would use mobile payment overseas given the option.

SnapPay CEO Spencer Xu says that merchants have seen success with marketing tools on its platform that are familiar to Chinese consumers, such as online promotional coupons and red packets.

Both Alipay, a subsidiary of Ant Financial, and rival WeChat have been plotting a global expansion over the past few years, and North America is one of the major markets that Alipay hopes to crack.

“We are glad to be working with SnapPay, one of our partners in North America, to better connect Chinese consumers to North American merchants and to bring about the most seamless experience for them,” said Yulei Wang, General Manager of Alipay North America.

Founded in Toronto in 2017, SnapPay now provides cross-border payment service in North America for Chinese payment companies including Alipay and WeChat Pay.