In a move that will potentially open up U.S. e-commerce for millions of Chinese consumers currently without a convenient payment method when shopping on sites based outside of China, Stripe will now be enabling consumers to pay with Alipay. The rare partnership between U.S.-based Stripe and Alibaba affiliate, Alipay, will see Stripe add support for Alipay to its checkout, according to a posting to Stripe’s blog yesterday.
“This is part of our larger plan to build a universal platform for payments online. We want to help businesses accept any currency or payment instrument their customers want to pay with,” said Patrick Collison, co-founder and CEO of Stripe in a written statement to PYMNTS. “The addition of Alipay to Stripe is an important step in our mission to bring more commerce online as well. We’re thrilled to be able to make selling to China easier for our users.”
According to Stripe’s post, most of the cards supported by the platform are not in heavy use in China, whereas Alipay has grown into a dominant payment method among Chinese consumers, handling about half of all online transactions in China, reports Reuters.
While it is not currently impossible to pay with Alipay on a U.S. site, it is not seamless and often involves bouncing between sites, a feature that is particularly inconvenient if consumers want to shop online from their mobile phone.
“With Stripe, Alipay users will simply enter their email address and a six-digit SMS code in Checkout. It works great on desktop and mobile,” noted Stripe in house physicist, hacker and internal hiking expert Christian Anderson.
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