Alipay parent Ant Financial signed a deal with mobile payment and loyalty card company Zapper, clearing the way for the Chinese service to be accepted across 10,000 merchants in South Africa.
The deal estbalishes the first major retail presence for Alipay in South Africa and comes two months after the service first appeared as an accepted payment method on sightseeing buses in Johannesburg and Cape Town.
As with the Chinese company’s deals across Europe and the US, the service will target merchants popular with existing Alipay users from mainland China who are visiting the country. Alongside payments, its app will offer information on local attractions.
In a joint statement announcing the deal, the companies said 110,000 tourists from China visit South Africa annually.
“South Africa is a must-experience country for Chinese tourists visiting Africa,” head of Alipay EMEA Rita Liu said, adding: “We are excited to partner with Zapper, the largest mobile payment provider in South Africa, to offer Chinese tourists a safe and convenient payment solution and seamless travel experience.”
Since its launch in 2004, Alipay signed-up 520 million users, mostly in mainland China. Ant Financial agreed deals with more than 450 financial institutions globally to support the service.