Samsung Pay partners up with Alipay in China

​Samsung Pay and Alipay can be used together in China following their MOU as Samsung attempts to expand its mobile payment services there.
Written by Cho Mu-Hyun, Contributing Writer

Samsung Pay users in China can now use local payment service Alipay directly though their accounts, Samsung has announced.

The South Korean tech giant signed an MOU with Ant Financial Services Group, parent company of Alipay, in its bid to expand Samsung Pay in the world's second-largest market.

Samsung Pay users can use Alipay directly without additional installation of requisite apps, and just need to register their Alipay accounts to Samsung Pay to use them at their convenience.

As with the interface with Samsung Pay, users can drag out their Alipay QR code from the bottom of their screen from the locked screen or home screen and place their smartphones near readers.

Alipay, launched in 2004, boasts 450 million active users and is the largest mobile and online payment service in China. Leveraging its online payment hegemony, it is now expanding its presence to offline payments.

Because of its domination, Samsung Pay and Apple Pay -- which both entered China in March and February, respectively -- faced a steep challenge to differentiate as most Chinese consumers have had long access to Alipay and find it convenient.

The deal is a win-win of sorts as Samsung needs more incentive for Chinese users to use Samsung Pay, while Alipay can use the Korean service to expand its offline reach.

"We are excited to be working with Alipay to expand Samsung Pay service in China," said Injong Rhee, EVP and head of R&D at Samsung's mobile business, in a statement. "The reception of Samsung Pay since its launch has been extremely positive and the service has already seen tremendous success in terms of availability and adoption by consumers. We ultimately want to make Samsung Pay available to as many consumers as possible around the globe, so that everyone can have the opportunity to enjoy simplicity, safety, and convenience of this mobile payment solution."

Also in a statement, Fan Zhiming, president of payment business at Ant Financial, said: "Alipay covers the vast majority of online payment use cases. At the same time, it also developed a variety of offline use cases, including restaurants, supermarkets, convenience stores, taxis, hospitals and public services. The technology integration facilitated by this partnership with Samsung Electronics will make the payment process faster and more convenient when users make payments at stores where Alipay is accepted."

Samsung Pay has hit 1 trillion won ($850 million) in transactions nine months after launching.

Rhee previously told ZDNet that the firm plans to add more transaction services, and has since added withdrawing and depositing money in ATMs and more online support globally.

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