Why you should Accept Alipay in Canada and USA

Jun 4, 2024
5 minutes Read
Alipay has 1.3B users. That means there’s a 12.5% chance your next customer uses it. Read on to find out why and how to accept Alipay in Canada and USA.
Why you should Accept Alipay in Canada and USA

Why Accept Alipay in United States and Canada.

The future of selling in a virtually and tactically connected world is being able to accept a World of Payments so travellers, new immigrants and online shoppers from anywhere in the world can pay you seamlessly for your goods and services.

Close to 1.5 billion of your potential customers prefer to buy using WeChat Pay or Alipay. If you don’t accept Alipay payments or WeChat Pay, you run the risk of pushing them towards a competitor that will offer them the convenience. Why miss out on selling to an interested customer because you don’t have their method of payment?

Keep reading to learn more about Alipay and why you should accept it as a payment option, regardless of what you sell.

Alipay is an eWallet app, similar to Apple Pay. You store your debit or credit card details in the app, then make purchases in-store and online using the app itself instead of directly using your bank-issued credit card.

In China, Alipay is by far the most popular Chinese mobile payment app; 92% of Chinese nationals with digital payment capabilities use Alipay, which is why North American companies that accept Alipay are at such an advantage.

The app is part of the Alibaba Group, which rivals Amazon as one of the world’s most diverse companies. Like Amazon, Alibaba has an online marketplace, a cloud services offering, a logistics network and an entertainment division. Unlike Amazon, it also has a robust payment platform (Alipay) that works inside and outside its ecosystem. Alipay can also support other financial services like insurance, lending, wealth management and credit scoring.

Alipay’s key features include:

  • Payment processing: In-store, consumers scan a QR code which triggers a payment from the Alipay app. Online, a merchant would integrate an Alipay option into their system. Either way, Alipay does the currency conversion and settles funds in the business’s local currency.
  • Escrow: For extra security (especially online), Alipay delays completing the financial transaction until receipt of purchase is confirmed by the buyer.
  • Alipay mini programs: These are apps you can build or access within the main app to make it easier and faster for your customers to find and buy what they want.
  • Analytics: Customer behaviour. Purchasing trends. Price comparison. It’s all tracked to help merchants target more effectively and make better decisions.

Alipay’s userbase is older than WeChat Pay’s is: whereas over 50% of WeChat’s users are under 30 years old, the largest Alipay user demographic is between 25 and 44 years old. It has 1.2 billion users worldwide, with 900 million in China. Interestingly, the country with the second-most users is the US because a lot of Chinese students come to North America — over 290,000 Chinese students are spread out across the US and 11,000 Chinese students are in Canada at any given point.

Alipay works on a system of QR codes. You, as the merchant, generate a QR code for every product you sell. Customers scan those QR codes to get product and price information, and to pay. Alternatively, a merchant can scan a customer’s own QR code to take money from them. It’s seamless and fast.

Alipay is known for its lower fees. Consumers pay no fees except on large withdrawals: currently, the fee is set to a modest 0.1% for withdrawals of over RMB 20,000 (CAN$3,800 or US$2,700). Transaction fees for merchants are typically significantly less expensive than popular credit cards. It’s a very attractive option for sellers.

In China, the list of businesses and organizations that accept Alipay includes eCommerce platforms, brick-and-mortar retailers, professional and public services and SMBs.

In North America, any retailer who expects Chinese nationals or recent immigrants from China to walk into their store or land on their websites should strongly consider accepting Alipay. This would include any retailer or merchant in or near an American or Canadian city of over 500,000 people (roughly the size of Kansas City). In smaller cities, towns, counties and villages, companies that serve tourists or business travellers should also consider accepting Alipay. This would include restaurants, attractions, hotels and the like. But it would also include shops a traveller might visit, like drug stores, supermarkets, florists, barbershops and nail salons.

Online, this could literally be any eCommerce site, since there’s about a 10% to 20% chance that your next visitor will be an Alipay user.

When you’re set up to accept Alipay, over a billion potential customers (and probably a few current customers) will be able to use their preferred payment method when they shop with you. This means not dealing with wire transfers, five-day holds or unfavourable exchange rates. An investment in Alipay enhances the shopping experience you offer. For some people, could be the difference between choosing you or a competitor.

Also, proudly demonstrating that you accept Alipay in your shop window or website footer is like a beacon for the 1B+ Alipay users. Without saying anything, you communicate ease, speed and immediate understanding of what they’re looking for in a shopping experience.

If you a find a quality partner such as OTT Pay to help you accept Alipay, you’ll be able to accept payments in local currency with automatic currency conversion, regardless of your customers’ original home currency. You’ll be able to generate more QR codes and take advantage of more opportunities.

OTT Pay is a leading payment processor company (link to homepage) that can help you attract more customers by accepting Alipay and Wechat (link to Wechat Blog) as a payment method.

Looking for a payment processor company in North America that accepts Alipay? Reach out to us.