Welcome to The Axis, your late look at payments news from around the world. Coverage includes Wirecard teaming up with Stuttgart-Marketing GmbH to create the “first official China Pay City in Germany.” In addition, Google is bringing Google Pay to the UAE, and AlipayHK plans to bring quick-response (QR) code payments to a transportation system in Hong Kong.
Ant Financial Services’ payments partner AlipayHK plans to bring mobile payments to the MTR transportation system in Hong Kong through QR codes after reportedly winning a bid, the South China Morning Post reported. With the offering, which will reportedly come online prior to the middle of 2020, riders can connect an account with AlipayHK to an app for the MTR. Then, upon entering the system, they will be able to use their smartphones to scan a QR code at the gate. AlipayHK Chief Executive Jennifer Tan said in a statement, according to the outlet, “AlipayHK is thrilled to have won the bid in being MTR’s QR code payment system provider. Not only is this a recognition of AlipayHK’s technological stability, we feel confident QR code transit technology will be successfully expanded into more aspects.”
And in the UAE, Google has reportedly rolled out Google Pay to enable Android phone users to make secure contactless payments, The National reported. To use the system, customers register their credit cards from partner banks such as Standard Chartered and Mashreq. After completing that step, they can make near-field communication (NFC) payments. The move comes as the country already has digital wallet providers such as Apple Pay, Beam Wallet and Etisalat Wallet, among others. Yet the market for mobile wallets in the UAE could hit $2.3 billion by 2022 per a TechSci Research report, which also said the market could have a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of nearly 25 percent from 2017 to 2022.
On another note, Wirecard is teaming up with Stuttgart-Marketing GmbH to make Stuttgart the “first official China Pay City in Germany,” according to an announcement. Through the tie-up, users of WeChat Pay and China’s Alipay can make payments at approximately 50 places in the German city, such as museums and restaurants. In addition, users of the apps can access profiles in Mandarin to learn about a hotel or restaurant. Managing Director of Stuttgart-Marketing Armin Dellnitz said in the announcement, “we are proud to be able to offer Chinese mobile payment methods in local businesses on a wide scale, and look forward to encouraging more and more companies to join our initiative. China continues to be a growth market for tourism in Germany as a whole, and also in Stuttgart.”