NAB to enable merchants to take payments through Alipay

- November 19, 2018 2 MIN READ

National Australia Bank (NAB) has announced a collaboration with Chinese payment platform Alipay that will allow its merchants to take payments from customers via Alipay.

The bank began testing the service with business merchants this month, and is expected to roll out the payment system to all merchants through existing point-of-sale in 2019.

The collaboration is aimed at helping Australian businesses tap into the lucrative Chinese tourist market. According to Shane Conway, NAB Executive General Manager of Deposit and Transaction Services, more than a million Chinese tourists visit Australia each year, spending over $11 billion.

“By making China’s number one payment method available to NAB business customers, we’re enabling greater customer service and providing our business customers with access to this large tourism sector which is a win-win for everyone,” he said.

Businesses will also be able to promote their businesses on Alipay’s marketing platform, which has 870 million active users.

George Lawson, Alipay country manager for Australia and New Zealand, said he is delighted to partner with NAB to help their business customers across the country connect with Chinese tourists.

“China is now Australia’s largest tourism market accounting for 81 per cent of the growth in tourism spend in Australia in the last 12 months. Enabling seamless payments with Alipay represents a significant commercial opportunity for Australian businesses,” he said.

“This deal provides tens of thousands of merchants the ability to switch on Alipay seamlessly and reduce friction at the point of sale for Chinese visitors, residents and students.”

More than 10,000 Australian merchants already accept Alipay – and Chinese tourists are making good use of it.

Statistics from Alipay found Australia’s transaction value through Alipay during China’s Golden Week holiday this past October ranked 9th globally, with the number of transactions up 105 percent on 2017.

According to Alipay, spend per user in Australian increased by 25 percent compared to 2017, with pharmaceuticals, fresh produce, and supermarkets the top performing categories.

In particular, Australian airports ranked third for transactions worldwide, while our Chinatowns were the most popular Chinese districts globally: almost 40 percent of transactions in Chinatowns during Golden Week occurred in Sydney and Melbourne.

Lawson said at the time that the growth has come with Australian businesses taking steps to appeal to the Chinese consumer, from offering Alipay at the point-of-sale, installing signage in Mandarin, and providing discounts and specials during key travel dates.

The announcement follows NAB’s investment in smart payment terminal company Poynt through its venture capital arm, NAB Ventures, last week.

Founded in 2014, Poynt has created its own smart terminals, along with an operating system that can plug into and power any smart payment terminal, with developers able to integrate their apps via the system’s marketplace.

Poynt reported that it has shipped almost 150,000 terminals in the last 16 months, with 30 million consumers having transacted on a Poynt terminal.

It expects total payment volume to surpass $25 billion over the next 12 months as its operating system is adopted. According to The World Bank, over 176 million payment terminals are expected to ship by 2020.

Image: George Lawson. Source: Supplied.