Alibaba, the Chinese internet giant that’s quickly expanding into financial services, announced on Saturday that it would partner with Yintai, a major Chinese retailer, to offer NFC payments in its retail stores through Alibaba’s Alipay e-wallet.
Jinghua reports that starting tomorrow, Alipay users can go to any one of Yintai’s 37 properly-equipped retail stores and purchase products simply by opening the Alipay e-wallet app on their phones, and swiping it above a sensor.
The move, Alibaba’s first major extended foray into offline payments, is no surprise. Last week, Alibaba announced that Alipay’s e-wallet app had racked up 100 million registered users. The revelation came after the company’s record-smashing online sales on Singles Day.
Given the relative newness of NFC, it’s likely that only the app’s most loyal users use the service to complete online transactions.
Alibaba’s most notable move in the finance sector this year has been Yuebao, a money market fund that launched in June and now has $5.9 billion in assets from 13 million users. Jack Ma, Chairman of Alibaba, has been vocal about his company’s ambitions to fill voids that Chinese state-owned banks have historically left open.
(Editing by Terence Lee)
(Image via Flickr user faungg’s photo)
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