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About

Alipay Logo

Alipay is a payment solution that allows buyers to pay for goods sold on international partner merchant websites using Renminbi (RMB). Alipay will then remit the sum in a foreign currency (one of the twelve that are currently supported) to the international merchant in settlement.

Alipay's payment solution provides international merchants with access to the Chinese market efficiently, and at a relatively low cost. Source: AliPay FAQ

Payment Flow

Properties

Type of Payment
Online
Chargebacks
Yes
Consumer Currency
RMB
Consumer Country
China
Expiry Period
URL Expiry - The URL returned for online payment methods is generally only valid for a few minutes. By default, the shopper has 10 minutes to complete their payment on the AliPay website from the moment they log into their account.
Recurring Payments
Yes
Partial Payment
No
Refunds
Yes

FAQ

What is Alipay?
Alipay is a mobile and web app used by consumers in China.
How Popular is AliPay?
Alipay is one of the most popular payment methods in China. It has more than 350 million registered users and facilitates millions of transactions every day.
Do I need to set up a company and open a bank account in China?
There is no need to set up a company or open a bank account in China.
Who can use an Alipay account?
Anyone can use Alipay, though it is easier for Chinese citizens to use the payment method. Non-citizens may also verify their account and use Alipay, though the app is only partially translated into English, and only a selection of banks are acceptable.
Can I test Alipay?
Anyone can use Alipay, though it is easier for Chinese citizens to use the payment method. Non-citizens may also verify their account and use Alipay, though the app is only partially translated into English, and only a selection of banks are acceptable.

Best Practices

Alipay is notoriously difficult to test. If you have an employee on the ground in China who has an account, using that live account is the best method to test this product.

Do not expect the same authorization rates that you might see with credit cards. Due to the nature of this product, Alipay authorization rates are much lower.

Merchants should consider making their shopper aware that:

  • Reach appears as the payment recipient on the Alipay payment pages
  • Reach appears as the payment recipient on the shopper’s Alipay statement
  • Reach appears as the sender of the payment on the shopper’s Alipay statement in the case of a direct refund
    • Advising the shopper of these points may reduce shopper abandonment.

Technical Considerations

Time out

By default, the shopper has 10 minutes to complete their payment on the Alipay website from the moment they log into their account. This can be a challenge for retailers, or for merchants in industries where fulfilment or reservation of goods is less urgent (e.g. phone credit).

Compatibility

The Alipay service is compatible with a range of desktop devices; it is less suitable for mobile devices. Although it is often possible for a shopper to complete a payment on a mobile device, it is likely that the conversion rate for these mobile device payments will be low.

Alipay payment pages are compatible with a range of desktop web browsers, but many Chinese banks have pages which are compatible with Microsoft Internet Explorer only. Merchants should advise their shoppers to use Microsoft Internet Explorer - this should minimize abandonment if shoppers pay through bank transfer.

One-time executable

If the shopper has never made a payment using the Alipay payment method on their current machine then merchants should advise their shoppers that a one-time executable must be installed once they re-direct to the Alipay payment pages.

Testing

  • Alipay offers minimal support for development testing. This is true for most wallet products. In order to test effectively, you will need to work with a person in-country who has a live account.

Shopper Journey

Alipay Desktop Journey

Step 1: Shopper confirms delivery address and shipping notes

Step 2: Shopper is redirected to AliPay

Step 3: Shopper chooses from the following payment options:

  • AliPay QR Code
  • AliPay Bankcard or Credit Card
  • AliPay Wallet

Alipay QR Code

Customer scans QR Code in AliPay Mobile App.

Customer confirms payment details and enters password.

AliPay Bankcard or Credit Card.

Customer confirms payment password to complete payment.

AliPay Mobile Journey via Native App or Mobile Website

Shopper confirms shipping details and proceeds to confirm payment using payment password

Related Information

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AliPay


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