Chinese payment giant Alipay is set to establish a joint venture with an unnamed partner in South Korea, according to reports.
The Korea Times noted emails from the company to existing partners outlining its plan, citing earlier comments from founder Jack Ma which also stated the firm’s intent. It opened its first customer centre outside of China in Seoul during November.
Alipay is already accepted as a payment method by a range of businesses in South Korea, but in attempt to further expand its services to consumers in the country, it is reportedly set to launch Korea Pay as a joint venture later this year.
The country’s mobile payments market is maturing quickly, according to statistics from local institutions. In October, The Bank of Korea estimated the market had increased by 53% from Q1 to Q2 last year.
The ecosystem is an extremely competitive one however, with more than 10 different mobile payment providers currently in the market including Samsung Pay, Kakao Pay and Naver Pay.
AliPay currently has 450 million users, mostly in mainland China, and is owned by Chinese e-commerce company Alibaba Group under affiliate Ant Financial Services Group.
In the last two years the company has voiced expansion plans and increased the number of merchants accepting the payment method into new markets across Asia and Europe.