The Commonwealth Bank has announced plans to introduce the China-based payment system to Australia.
The Commonwealth Bank has signed a memorandum of understanding with the China-based Alipay payment system, foreshadowing plans that will allow Chinese tourists and students to make Alipay-based payments at retailers with the CommBank's Albert EFTPOS device.
According the bank, some 19,000 Chinese tourists visit Australia each week, spending nearly $8000 per person.
"Australia is a popular destination for Chinese travellers and Chinese students studying overseas. We want Alipay users to enjoy the kind of convenience they are used to at home. We are working with regional and global partners like Commonwealth Bank to make this happen," said Douglas Feagin, head of Alipay International and senior vice president of parent company Ant Financial Services Group.
Commonwealth Bank group executive for institutional banking and markets Kelly Bayer Rosmarin said: "We are thrilled to be the first Australian bank to collaborate with Alipay in building an innovative payments solution that leverages our leading e-commerce and point of sale platforms. We are constantly working on payment solutions that offer flexibility and choice for our customers so the prospect of bringing them closer to a globally leading mobile payments provider, and its 450 million active users, is truly exciting."
Alipay and CommBank also plan to make it easier for Australian customers to pay for their purchases on Alibaba Group e-commerce sites, which include Taobao.com, Tmall.com and Aliexpress.com. That's probably not such good news for Australian retailers.