Mobile wallet players across Europe and Alipay, the Chinese digital payment player, announced Monday (June 10) they are teaming up to promote QR code payment interoperability.
In a press release, Bluecode, ePassi, momo pocket, Pagaqui, Pivo, Vipps and Alipay said they will adopt a unified QR code, which will enable payment interoperability for travelers in Europe and from China. The idea will be that users of the six European digital wallets will be able to make QR code payments with their apps at local merchants in ten European countries where the apps are accepted. Merchants that already support the six digital wallets will be able to accept payments made by customers in other countries. Alipay's Chinese customers can make payments to merchants that accept the wallets, the companies said in the press release.
Helsinki-based ePassi and Oslo-based Vipps have started to prepare the roll-out of this QR code format for users across several Nordic countries, while the Spanish payment company MOMO, Portugal’s Pagaqui and Austria’s Bluecode intend to extend the collaboration further later this summer in their respective home markets, they noted. "With over 12 years’ experience, ePassi is already a mobile payments front-runner in QR code-based payments in the Nordic and selected European countries. We are proud and honored to be part of this unique collaboration of European payment wallets, and to support other partners with their integration as well,” said Risto Virkkala, CEO of ePassi said in the joint press release. The deal builds on a similar partnership that was announced late last year between Vipps, ePassi and Alipay, with partnerships like it expected to expand into more European countries and companies in the future.
In Europe the six mobile wallet partners have more than five million users combined, with roughly 190,000 merchants accepting the payment methods in Europe. The partnering firms have agreed to apply a compatible QR code format provided by Alipay. ePassi and Bluecode will offer technical services to the participating wallets to simplify the integration process among them.
“We feel honored to help promote a smart lifestyle and digital experiences in Europe, while continuing to connect more merchants with more Chinese tourists. We believe mobile payment is a universal language that can help connect people just as football does,” Eric Jing, Chairman & CEO at Ant Financial, which operated Alipay, said in the press release.