German vendor Wirecard developed an app which enables European retailers to accept payments from China’s Alipay through a QR code scan.

The app will primarily be of interest to cafes, restaurants and clothes retailers, said the German firm, since those retailers are most popular with Chinese tourists in Europe.

The app enables retailers to accept Alipay as a payment method without a costly upgrade in their point-of-sale hardware, said Wirecard.

Retailers will “soon” be able to download the free ‘Scan Alipay’ iOS app from the App Store. Integration with a POS system is not necessary. An Android version will follow later this year.

The app is part of the strategy for Alipay to serve Chinese travellers in Europe. The relationship with Wirecard was announced in November last year.

Separately, Alipay more recently struck a partnership with Ingenico to embed its payment capability point-of-sale terminals across Europe.

Rita Liu, head of Europe with Alipay, said of the forthcoming app: “Our customers have a strong sense of loyalty to the Alipay brand. We are sure that tourists will look to use this domestic payment method in Europe more and more often.”

Jorn Leogrande, EVP of mobile services at Wirecard, said: “The Alipay solution is unique within Europe and around the world. We are proud to take this step together with Alipay, which will provide the easiest way for retailers in Europe to offer this Chinese payment method.”

Using the app, a user needs to show the retailer a barcode generated on their smartphone display. The retailer then enters the amount payable into the Scan Alipay app on a mobile device – in US dollars, Euros or British pounds – and then scans the QR code on the customer’s smartphone. This action completes the transaction. Payment processing is then handled by Wirecard Bank.