Barclaycard offers retailers Alipay API

Barclaycard has announced a partnership with Alipay to encourage more sales from Chinese tourists.

The agreement will enable UK retailers to accept Alipay payments in store without having to replace existing point-of-sale (POS) systems.

Barclaycard processes almost half of the UK’s credit and debit card transactions and retailers who use the provider’s services will be able to share a new API with their software supplier to upgrade their POS to enable Alipay mobile payments. Retailers will use scanners to read the QR code Alipay generates to complete a sale.

Retailers will also be able to use Alipay to engage with potential customers who use the app to search for stores and find out information such as opening hours, directions and discounts.

The UK is seeing more Chinese tourists coming to Britain every year, and according to Visit Britain, Chinese tourists are expected to spend more than £1 billion in the UK this year. Meanwhile, the number of Alipay users in the UK has doubled in 2019. The Chinese payment service has over one billion users across the world.

Barclaycard said it is in discussions with around 70 retailers who are interested in deploying the API.

“Thanks to the significant investments we’ve made in our platform, our clients have access to a growing range of payment types, each of which can help them increase market share by meeting the needs of new customers,” said Rob Cameron, CEO, global head of payment acceptance at Barclaycard.

“Our new agreement with Alipay gives retailers a vital tool to help them seize the revenue opportunity posed by the growth of Chinese visitors to the UK. At the same time, Alipay users will benefit from a more convenient and familiar in-store payments process – enhancing their overall shopping experience.”

Roland Palmer, head of Europe, Middle East and Africa at Alipay, added: “Alipay is excited to announce that it will be working with Barclaycard to provide visitors from China with the mobile payment experience that they are already familiar with. Through this strategic partnership, Alipay will now be able to offer many more UK merchants the opportunity to connect and engage with a growing number of Chinese visitors. This is another step forwards in our vision to offer Chinese tourists a seamless travel and payment experience when travelling overseas.”