New reports indicate that Alipay's team is in negotiations with Wirecard over Alipay taking a 25 percent stake in the German banking software company.
This is according to Bild am Sonntag, a German newspaper which noted that Wirecard was in private talks to take an investment from the unit of the Chinese eCommerce giant. Alipay is owned by Alibaba's financial arm, Ant Financial. Wirecard has not provided comments on the details of the deal, but did confirm with Reuters that the company was speaking with partners (without naming which ones).
A source said to be close to the matter said that Ant Financial was not involved in such discussions. The two companies, however, have made deals in the past with each other, including a deal to offer mobile payments for Chinese tourists in Europe.
The collaboration will promote innovating point of sale (POS) payment acceptance in Europe between Wirecard and Alipay, a business of Ant Financial, a related company of Alibaba. Through the partnership, brands and retailers will have the ability to break into the Chinese tourism market.
As the largest provider of China’s leading Internet payment solution, Alipay is actively used by 400 million users and owns more than 50 percent of the market share in online payments and 80 percent in mobile. Chinese users can now make purchases with Alipay on their mobile devices at authorized POS retailers in Europe via an integrated barcode payment functionality from Wirecard and without incurring currency exchange fees.
Alipay will also be launching in Europe this summer, which will give its massive 450 million active Chinese consumers the chance to use the digital payments option while abroad in Europe, which would be the company’s largest market outside of Asia.