Alipay continued a recent run of enabling its customers to access their mobile wallet service while travelling, penning a deal covering taxi payments in two key US cities.
The agreement with Verifone’s Taxi Solutions division will enable Alipay customers to pay for travel in 2,100 taxis in Las Vegas by end-October, with 14,000 taxis in New York City due to be added in November.
In a joint statement, Souheil Badran, president of Alipay North America, said the deal removes a key point of stress for the company’s customers while travelling to two of the most popular US destinations for Chinese tourists. The companies are enabling travellers to pay for taxis via “the same convenient payment method they use at home” while removing “language barriers”.
The deal builds on an existing relationship with Verifone signed in 2016 covering point-of-sale payments in Europe and the US.
Verifone’s SVP for Global Taxi Systems, Amos Tamam, said the extended Alipay deal is “yet another example of leveraging our smart transportation system” to boost use of traditional taxis “which offer the safety of licensed and professional drivers along with predictable pricing”: an apparent dig at rival app-based taxi services.
The US taxi agreement is the latest in a series of such deals signed by Alipay through 2017.
In August, the company announced a collaboration with US business recommendation tool Yelp enabling tourists to access information on retail outlets and restaurants via the payment company’s app. Alipay also opened up access to 100,000 merchants in Russia through VTB, one of the country’s leading banks, and announced a mobile payment joint venture in Hong Kong with CK Hutchison.