Alibaba’s Alipay mobile payment service has jumped into the car rental business, with a service rolled out in Beijing Wednesday (Oct. 15) called Che Fenxiang (“car sharing” in Chinese), according to The Wall Street Journal.
“One thing that makes the service unique is that users with good creditworthiness — determined based on their transaction data collected by Alipay — can rent a car without paying a deposit. Other users with lower credit ratings can also rent them but they have to pay a deposit,” the story said. “Rental fees vary depending on the type of car. The cheapest one is about 15 yuan an hour ($2.45), while certain vehicles like electric smart cars are more expensive. Zhejiang Ant plans to launch the car rental service in Hangzhou, Alibaba’s hometown, later this week. The service is offered jointly by Alipay and car rental firm called Hangzhou Che Lizi.”
Zhu Haiwei, a product manager for Zhejiang Ant, is quoted saying that this idea of using good credit to give consumers benefits is being trialed with the car rental service and could be added to existing Alipay services such as hotel booking and apartment rentals.