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Banking & Finance

Approval given to Alibaba's online payment platform

Released at: 14:53, 16/11/2017

Approval given to Alibaba's online payment platform

Photo: cafebiz.vn

Ant Financial enters into MoU with NAPAS that enables Chinese tourists to use Alipay when travelling in Vietnam.

by Quang Huy

Ant Financial, Alibaba’s financial services arm, has entered into a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the National Payment Corporation of Vietnam (NAPAS) that will enable Chinese tourists to use Alipay when travelling in Vietnam.

Under the MoU, Chinese travelers will be able to use Alipay throughout Vietnam via NAPAS member banks and its intermediary payment service networks.

According to the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism, out of the 10.47 million travelers that visited Vietnam in the first ten months of 2017, more than 3.2 million were Chinese, constituting the largest group of travelers and a 146 per cent increase from the same period last year.

In the future, those who hold cards issued by NAPAS bank members in Vietnam will be able to use Alipay to make purchases across Alibaba Group’s e-commerce websites, including AliExpress and Taobao.

“The collaboration with Alipay is part of our strategy to expand international cooperation and explore new payment solutions, allowing for better connections between banks, merchants and service providers, and consumers,” said NAPAS Chairwoman Ms. Nguyen Tu Anh, which provides switching and electronic clearing and settlement services in the country.

NAPAS is the only intermediary payment service provider licensed by the central bank to provide electronic payment services in Vietnam. The corporation operates an inter-bank connection system with tens of thousands of ATMs run by 43 banks, including Vietnam’s top lenders Vietcombank, Vietinbank and BIDV.

A Bloomberg report last December, citing Credit Suisse figures, said a 30 per cent increase in spending by Chinese tourists would boost Vietnam’s GDP by nearly 1 percentage point.

Alipay, which has more than 520 million daily users globally, has been gradually expanding its presence worldwide through partnerships with local entities to enable mobile payments for Chinese tourists. The payment service entered the Australian market late last year under a similar agreement with the Commonwealth Bank of Australia.

News of the deal with NAPAS comes a week after Alibaba founder Mr. Jack Ma visited Hanoi. At a meeting with Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc, Mr. Ma said he would consider establishing a store for Vietnam on Alibaba’s e-commerce app.

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