Amee Chande, Alibaba’s UK managing director, told The Telegraph that the Chinese firm plans to have its Alipay payment service accepted in major London stores and attractions by October.

Last week, Alipay announced a partnership with hardware vendor Ingenico to embed its service in point of sale terminals across Europe. The target market is the millions of Chinese tourists who visit European cities each year.

Back in April, Sabrina Peng, president of Alipay International, laid out a roadmap for European expansion that specified launches in the UK, France and Germany this summer. A debut in the UK by October would indicate a little slippage in those plans.

Among the partners being targeted in London by Alibaba are Harrods and Hilton IHG, said Chande.