China-based mobile payment provider Alipay has its eyes on Singapore and plans to offer its platform to consumers in the city-state.
It initially eyes expanding its operations in Singapore by targeting tourists from China and Chinese citizens living on the island as well as others subscribed to a China banking account.
Currently, customers of Alibaba's financial arm are required to have a China bank-issued credit card or a China banking account for debiting transactions.
A report from the Business Times said Alipay signed an agreement with CC Financial Services Pte Ltd's CCPay to increase the number of Alipay acceptance points in Singapore. This is in addition to the 20,000 points it already has, of which 17,000 are for taxis.
The firm announced that it will open its payment platform to Singapore banking users soon.
To recall, Alipay had outfitted all ComfortDelGro taxis with Alipay acceptance points. It also tapped Prime Taxi earlier in March this year to offer Alipay on their cabs.
The remaining 3,000 acceptance points were spread in brick-and-mortar shops in tourist spots such as Chinatown, Sentosa, and Orchard Road.
With the deal with CCPay, Alipay acceptance points will be rolled out initially in People's Park Complex and Chinatown. There are also plans in place to put more in areas like Bugis, Geylang, and Clementi.
Data from the Singapore Tourism Board point at China as the second largest source market of Singapore. Last year, around 2.86 million visitors in the Lion City are from China.
CC Financial Services founder and director Jed Huang noted that firms are not required to register for an Alipay account to use the service as CCPay would be the one handling all transactions.
Merchants which carries out a deal in Singapore dollars, for instance, will result in customers having a billable amount converted to renminbi that will be deducted from his Alipay account. CCPay would receive the deducted amount in Singapore dollars, allowing the merchant to receive the money in local currency.
"However, there may still be some transaction or admin costs," Huang said in an interview with the Business Times.