The number of locations in Europe accepting Alipay’s service increased 900 per cent to 2,000 outlets over the past four months, the South China Morning Post (SCMP) reported.
Alipay’s head of Europe, Rita Liu, told the newspaper its presence in the continent now covers a range of retailers used by Chinese consumers while travelling in the region.
Its growth in merchant acceptance in Europe follows a concerted effort to expand its reach outside of mainland China, where the majority of its customer-base resides.
The company, which is affiliated to Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba, first moved into Europe in October 2015 through a deal with German airport retailer Tripidi.
Since then, it signed a number of agreements with point of sale infrastructure companies, banks and retail chains. During December it announced partnerships with Barclays, BNP Paribas and UniCredit, opening the door to a potential 930,000 retail outlets across Europe which would accept payments through its platform.
Alipay’s user numbers stand at over 400 million. Its parent company Ant Financial also owns a sizeable stake in Indian mobile wallet company Paytm and made several investments in payment providers in East and South East Asia.
Ant is currently in the process of attempting to acquire US-based money transfer firm MoneyGram for $880 million to expand its presence in the Americas. The proposal is currently undergoing regulatory approval.