China has grown and continues to grow economically more than any other country in the world. Thanks to our entrepreneurial and aggressive spirit. You would expect the growth to affect even our tech world and, it has.
One of the most popular apps in China today is Alipay. Although it has been in the market for a long time, it has evolved rapidly to suit the ever-changing trends.
What is Alipay
I’m sure wherever you are in the globe, you must have noticed that more people are using soft cash as opposed to hard cash. And thankfully, this keeps us safe in regards to the security of our money, especially those of us who like to carry lump sum of money.
Alipay is a digital payment system that is quite popular in China and is fast gaining popularity across the globe. It’s an eWallet payment system. It’s commonly used by people who like to make purchases online.
Is the Consumer Using the Alipay Safe?
Like online banking, measures are in place to protect the privacy of the consumer. So, of course it’s safe to use.
The History Behind Alipay?
Alipay came into existence in the year 2004.
To begin with, it was a payment method for the Taobao which is part of the Alibaba group. As a blessing in disguise, when eBay bought eachnet.com, Taobao saw the need to bridge the trust between the seller and consumer.
This was when there were fewer transactions taking place because each side thought the other person was a fraud.
So, when Taobao founded the Alipay method, it was to be used to hold the money paid by the consumer until they confirmed the receipt of the goods bought. The escrow also waited for the confirmation that the goods were in good condition and high-quality goods.
With this, then the online purchase on Alibaba became so rapid. The reason is that the trust issue was solved. With this growth, the system was at some point encouraged to increase and improve its payment authorization.
In the process, there came the development of the mobile commerce. Mobile commerce is now the most popular method of payment we have across the country.
Soon the Alipay realized that they had too much money in the pool and they needed a way to release the cash.
This they did when they provided a money market fund for its buyers. Therefore, you can also deposit money to your Alipay account. It further had lower interest rates than the bank rates. This wowed more consumers to use it as opposed to banks.
With this, it then became a financial service company.
Why is it so popular?
With any of the transactions we have online or offline, trust is often a major stumbling block. In the ancient days, not many people had credit cards and even those who had them were not willing to use them. They didn’t trust the websites with their personal information.
The same way, cash on delivery doesn’t work well when you sell things online because you depend on the middle man delivering the goods and they then are the once to bring you the money.
So, the mobile apps for payment helped. You can order your desired goods and have the money deposited in the escrow. The seller will then acquire the money once the goods are delivered.
The buyer is equally safe since you can hold the money in the escrow until the seller gives you a good product. Also, you can easily order a refund.
The reason why the app is quite popular today is that there’s massive backing when it comes to advertising. The bigwigs in the online enterprise have done large promotional campaigns to get the word out.
Almost everyone in China at least knows about the money payment method even if they don’t use it.
- China is a mobile country
For most countries across the world, this is true not only in our country. Therefore, with the increase in the use of smartphone in the country, you can rest assured that more people are joining the platform payment method.
Thankfully smartphones are more popular in China than they are anywhere else.
This is the most convenient method you can ever use. Statically the younger generation looks at their phones every 8.6 minutes. They further take about 4 hours on the phone. With this statistic, you understand that making purchases over the phone make it easy for them.
You can use the method to pay for almost everything including the utility bills. You will even use it to pay all your modes of transport. The mobile payment method is essential to make purchases. This is to say you can have a cashless life if you wish to.
In China, we hold our cultural practices in high esteem. And ever since the WeChat introduced the red packet the system has grown widely. You can now exchange the lucky money particularly during special occasions like Chinese New Year.
How Does Alipay Work
Alipay is such a large financial institution. It collaborates with about 65 other financial institutions. It even works with the visa card and master cards. So, for it to work for you, you need to first sign in.
Like any other app you first must sign up your details. Go to your play store in the smart phone and download the app. Key in your simple details but especially using you correct number. In fact, just follow the instructions the same way you would when signing up to any other app.
So, once you have your filled in your phone number, they will send you a numeric code via message. Here you then key into the details on the signup page to continue.
Begin by checking the bottom right corner of the app and you will see the icon ‘Me’. Tap that button and then you will see the bank card button. Tap that and if you haven’t yet added a bank account it will say add a card then go ahead and add your details.
You expect to add on the credit card number and your names. Go on to confirm the information before you send it through.
- Confirm that the information on the bank registration is right
For this step, use the ID you used to set the bank registration. Whether it’s a passport or the national ID is all okay.
The phone number is further added. Ensure you add your latest phone number.
In this case, you need to be super sensitive because without the information tallying with the bank details, the app will be declining your info.
For ease, write the names in uppercase letters and remember to add all the special characters you have in your bank registration record.
It should be able to work or sign in but if it doesn’t, go ahead and seek the help of your bank. Confirm that you didn’t forget the crucial details that only them can retrieve.
If it does work though, Alipay sends you a confirmation code link which you then use to finish off the registration.
Now you will have the card appearing on the bank cards section. Now set your password though. It should be at least 6 digits.
Don’t forget the password because you won’t pay for anything without it.
Payment methods in China
You must have heard the phrase ‘China is living in the future’ The reason for the phrase is that in China you can pay for almost everything from your phone.
There are three payment methods you can use
Cash payment is the most common method of paying for any service or good. It’s rather acceptable across the board. Whether you are a traveller or you just love to use cash for your transactions, cash payment is ideal.
This is another one of the most popular methods. You can use the credit cards to pay for goods or services in the malls, hotels, airlines among other places.
This is a daily occurrence in China. Wherever you go, if you aren’t the one using the mobile pay someone else is using the phone for the transaction.
Some of the mobile commerce methods include the following.
This is a system used in Taobao platform which is the leading shopping site in the country. Alibaba owns the app. It’s the most common mobile payment method. In fact, it’s even becoming international.
UnionPay Online payment
This is another one of the online transaction methods that works with other online payment options. It works in China and particularly with every trader that allows for union pay. What’s even better is that it works across the board.
Another one of the most popular methods of payment that has up to about 200 million individual users. It was integrated with the WeChat app and that gives it an edge. Its owned by the TenCent company that further owns the most popular platform in China, WeChat.
So, We Chat pay is the number one social media payment method in China. It has further seen a massive growth whereby it has grown beyond the investment funds. It’s a convenient method since you can use it directly within the app.
This is another one of the most popular online payment methods across the globe. Nevertheless, although it’s still popular in other countries, it hasn’t been able to beat the mobile transaction method.
How Can You Set Up the Alipay Account When You Don‘t Have Chinese Account?
Of course, we all would love to be a part of the convenience but it’s hard for you to register when you don’t have a Chinese bank account. Thankfully you have the option of using WeChat if you are within the country.
For this to work though, you need a friend to send you a small amount of money via WeChat. It then allows you to attach the foreign cards. Sometimes you may even use the Visa cards or credit cards that are foreign.
The easiest way to top up you WeChat though is in paying through PayPal and bitcoin.
As for the Alipay, you can open an account via email if you don’t have the Chinese ID. Nevertheless only a few countries can do this. If you wish you can open a bank account in China then make it work.
There are prospects that Alipay like its sister WeChat will start venturing in the international scene. When they link up with your local banks then it becomes easy for you to open the accounts with it.
Note that once you have every document you need you can follow the normal registration process.
Benefits of Using the Alipay Platform
The advantage of using the platform is majorly that you will have the business taking off in high gear.
- You will receive traffic for your online business
It makes it easy for you to connect with both the middle-class Chinese and affluent level Chinese. This method will further give you the marketing options where you use the opportunity to drive insane traffic to your site.
You might just gain a high conversion rate for traffic.
Today with the use of Alipay we have the ecommerce website. Since its linked to various other banks in the country, it has proven to be a trustworthy method to make payments. Therefore, you have no reason to carry a lot of money in cash.
- Both the buyer and seller trust the platform
Trust issues used to make it hard to make purchases and sales. But the fact that your money is in escrow until you are satisfied with you purchase you can rest assured that you are safe.
Alipay has over 100 million transactions per day. With its growth even outside of China, it has over 520 million users. If by any chance you target the massive Chinese market with your business, Alipay is an app you must have.
So, let’s just say, Alipay is here to stay.