Chinese tourists visiting Spain will be able to use Alipay as a payment option, after the mobile wallet company struck an agreement with Spanish bank BBVA.
BBVA said in a statement it will integrate Alipay, owned by China’s Ant Financial Services, into its Smartpay mobile app, which is supported by stores in the country.
Merchants already using BBVA’s service will need to update the Smartpay app capabilities to be able to accept Alipay payments, and the bank added it is working with large chains in Spain “to prepare them to accept payments with Alipay as early as possible”.
It is also developing solutions for stores to integrate the Alipay option into their cash register systems.
Alipay uses a system of QR codes to process payments, which is already popular in China, where QR is also frequently used for promotions.
The company’s parent company has outlined ambitions to broaden its reach and bring the service to a greater number of markets.
BBVA said it is the first Spanish financial institution to cooperate with Alipay for mobile payment service, before adding that the move was in response to the growth of Chinese tourism in Spain.
Approximately 400,000 Chinese tourists visit Spain each year, said the bank, with an average spend of €2040 in 2016.