Alipay inked a deal with VTB – one of Russia’s leading banks – to support the Chinese payment system across 100,000 merchants in the country.
The move is part of Alipay’s strategy to increase the footprint of its service beyond mainland China by signing deals with retailers and partners based in locations popular with Chinese tourists.
After full rollout to customers of VTB’s VTB24 arm, expected by the end of the year, the Chinese company estimates it will open the door to 1 million customers in Russia annually.
VTB expects the main demand to be in Moscow, Saint Petersburg, Khabarovsk, Vladivostok, Blagoveshchensk and Irkutsk.
“We see the number of Chinese tourists is increasingly growing,” said VTB director of merchant acquiring department, Alexey Kirichek: “Potential volume of this market is approximately [RUB]300 billion [$5 billion] per year. Average ticket size of Alipay users is 2-3 times higher than in other payment methods, hence we expect high demand for the new service from merchants.”
Alipay Russia business development director Bogdan Zadorozhny added: “For Alipay, it’s very important to get support from one of the largest banks in Russia. Large-scale acceptance of Alipay on the whole POS infrastructure of VTB24 will allow us to speed up and facilitate the launch of our service at merchants and enable country level coverage.”