Alipay – the China-based digital payment service – is now expanding in the United States. The digital payment service, which is owned by the China-based online retailing giant Alibaba, is slowly growing its business in the U.S. The consumers will be able to use the digital payment service at over 4 million businesses and this has become possible because of the deal signed with credit card processing service First Data.
Alibaba is becoming getting successful in its overseas push
The deal is mainly aimed at the Chinese tourists who are visiting North America. The deal is following a small trial in New York and California, and is bringing the digital payment service into direct competition with the likes of Android Pay, PayPal and ApplePay. The China-based digital payment service dominates in the Chinese mobile payments market along with its competitor WeChat. Both the companies are trying to grow their presence overseas in other countries.
In addition to this, there are also signs of the U.S.-based companies in the mobile payments industry. These companies are trying to expand their business in China. The Cupertino-based iPhone maker – Apple Inc. – teamed up with China Union Pay, which is the state-owned bankcard association of China, to enable the cardholders of the lender to use Apple Pay. The deal between the Silicon Valley giant and China Union Pay took place in February last year.
Alipay, which is owned by the digital payments arm of the China-based e-commerce giant Ant Financial, has over 450 million customers across the world. Ant Financial has over 630 million users worldwide.
UBS analyst gives Apple some ‘much-needed’ advice
Through Alipay, users can not just do money transfers and online payments but also book a hotel, buy movie tickets and hail a taxi directly from the within the app of the digital payments service. In January this year, the financial arm of Alibaba – Ant Financial – acquired the US-based MoneyGram for $880m (£700m). The U.S.-based payment service has around 350,000 outlets in nearly 200 countries. The takeover of MoneyGram by Ant Financial is still under review and it requires the regulatory approval of the US Committee on Foreign Investment.
In another news, UBS analyst Steven Milunovich advised the tech giant to use its cash while thinking about consumers and not shareholders. Currently, the Wall Street is crowded with suggestions about companies that the iPhone making giant should buy with its large cash holdings. Milunovich, however, asked the tech company to make a deal that benefits its customers and not just greedy shareholders.
In a note on Tuesday, the UBS analyst wrote, “Steve Jobs warned: ‘Companies forget what it means to make great products … they really have no feeling in their heart about wanting to really help the customers.’”
He added, “We think Apple is likely to only make an acquisition that results in a better product and customer experience, not to protect financial results.”