Commonwealth Bank of Australia is making Alipay available as a payments option on its Albert point-of-sale devices.
The bank said it is the first of the Big Four Australian banks to provide Alipay to customers in store.
Alipay is the world’s largest mobile and online payment platform, with the majority of 900 million users coming from China. CBA touted the move as a way for Australian businesses to “better target and connect with Chinese consumers”.
Around 1.4 million Chinese tourists visited the country last year, resulting in a $10.9 billion boost for the economy. The availability of Alipay will also appeal to the 166,000 Chinese nationals studying in Australia, the bank said.
To start accepting Alipay, merchants need to download the ePay app – an existing CBA app provider – onto their Albert device, of which there are 94,000 currently in use across Australia.
Through ePay, businesses also have the ability to use location-based promotional campaigns to Alipay wallet users, even before they arrive in the country.
“This is a game changer and we are thrilled to be the first major bank to provide Alipay as a payment option for customers, through our market leading and innovative apps ecosystem, Albert App Bank,” said CBA executive general manager, business customer solutions, Clive Van Horen.
CBA has pipped rival NAB to the post with the announcement. NAB in November launched an Alipay pilot with a small group of its business merchant customers. It plans to roll out support for Alipay across existing point of sale terminals early next year.
In August, business-only bank Tyro said it would be the first Australian bank to offer all-in-one EFTPOS with integrated Alipay acceptance with its merchants. The first merchant implementation of Alipay was by Tyro customer, duty-free retailer Heinemann Australia in October.
According to Alipay, more than 10,000 Australian merchants already accept Alipay.
“Banks are pivotal to Alipay’s expansion in Australia, and the fact that CBA has a growing market share in business banking customers, means we can now switch on our technology for thousands of merchants simultaneously through their existing Albert devices,” said Alipay country manager for Australia and New Zealand, George Lawson.
“With the festive season fast approaching, businesses that use Alipay will be best placed to attract additional sales in what is a busy travel period for Chinese consumers,” Lawson added.
The Alipay compatibility announcement comes less than a week after CBA announced it will offer customers Apple Pay from January next year.
The bank signed a "landmark" Memorandum of Understanding with Alipay in 2016 to "deliver payment solutions that will benefit Australian and Chinese consumers and retailers".