Alipay grows Europe partnership to 6 digital wallet apps with 5 million users

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Chinese mobile payment giant Alipay is working with digital wallet companies in Europe to unify QR code payment in the region, the company announced Monday.

Alipay is collaborating with Finland’s ePassi and Pivo, Norway-based Vipps, Spain’s MOMO, Portugal’s Pagaqui, and Austria’s Bluecode to adopt a unified QR code in a bid to bridge the region’s fragmented mobile payment landscape.

With the partnership, the European mobile payment app users will be able to pay merchants in 10 European countries that accept payments from the five other digital wallet partners. The partnering digital wallets will use the unified QR code format provided by Alipay. Alipay users, mostly Chinese tourists traveling to Europe, will also be able to make payments to merchants that accept these European payment apps.

The collaboration is built on a partnership inked by Vipps, ePassi, and Alipay to adopt the Chinese mobile payments giant’s QR code standard last December. The company said it expects to expand into more European countries.

The six digital wallets have 5 million users combined and around 190,000 merchants in their payment networks in Europe.

Mobile payment companies including Alipay and WeChat Pay have been eager to cash in on the spending power of Chinese tourists flocking to Europe, which has become one of the top travel destinations in China amid rising trade tensions.

As its expansion in the US hits road bumps amid trade tensions, the Chinese fintech giant has been focusing on markets in Europe as well as other parts of Asia.

Roland Palmer, head of Europe at Alipay, recently dismissed fears that the trade war with the US is weakening the growth of Alipay’s overseas businesses, saying that the company tripled the number of European merchants that accept its service in the past year.

“We feel honored to help promote a smart lifestyle and digital experiences in Europe, while continuing to connect more merchants with more Chinese tourists. We believe mobile payment is a universal language that can help connect people just as football does,” Eric Jing, Ant Financial’s CEO, said in the statement.