Home World Business Stripe strikes Alipay and WeChat Pay deal for China access

Stripe strikes Alipay and WeChat Pay deal for China access

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US digital payments firm Stripe has struck a deal to help online retailers around the world sell more easily to Chinese customers.

Merchants who use Stripe to process transactions will now be able to accept Alipay and WeChat Pay on their websites and apps.

Alipay and WeChat Pay dominate online spending in China – each having more than half a billion users.

The Chinese e-commerce market was worth an estimated $750bn last year.

But that was mainly spending done with China-based businesses, with relatively few Chinese consumers buying online from overseas because of a lack of credit cards.

‘More complete’

Stripe has more than 100,000 customers globally who pay a fee to Stripe each time it processes a payment.

That means the deal’s impact on its own profits will depend on China’s appetite for buying products from overseas.

Talking to the BBC, Stripe co-founder John Collison would not predict how many of its customers would sell their goods or services to Chinese customers.

But he said businesses were much more likely to sell to Chinese customers if it was made easy for them – allowing retailers to focus on their core business.

“Once it has becomes a engineering project, it’s much more likely to be put on the backburner, he said.

“This is much more complete than anything that’s currently available.”

Competition

Stripe is one of the most valuable venture-backed financial technology companies globally.

So far, it has received around $450m funding from investors, including Sequoia Capital, Andreessen Horowitz and Visa. Early backers included Paypal founders Elon Musk and Peter Thiel.

While Stripe is keen to profit from customers in China, Chinese payment firms are looking at different ways to make money from transactions done abroad.

Last month Alipay announced it was expanding in the US, after signing a deal – aimed at Chinese tourists visiting North America – that would allow it to be used at about 4 million businesses.

It followed a small trial in California and New York, and brings Alipay into direct competition with the likes of ApplePay, Android Pay and PayPal.

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