Alipay, the digital payment arm of Alibaba, announced Thursday (Jan.11) it had entered into a partnership with French apparel brand Lacoste that will enable Alipay acceptance in select U.S. stores.
In a press release, Alipay, which is Lacoste's exclusive partner, said technology firm Verifone would facilitate Alipay QR code payments using its Verifone e355 mobile point of sale (mPOS) terminal. According to Alipay, the two began working together in 2016 to enable merchants in both Europe and North America to accept Alipay in stores. In addition to accepting AliPay as a payment method, merchants with the Verifone mPOS can create marketing campaigns that target Chinese consumers who use Alipay.
Alipay said in the press release that approximately 3 million Chinese tourists visit the U.S. every year, with Chinese travelers spending $33 billion in 2016 in the U.S. alone.
“We take pride in appealing to international customers and continue to use innovative technology to improve the customer experience in our boutiques,” said Joëlle Grünberg, president and CEO of Lacoste North and Central America. “With Verifone, we now offer Chinese customers the comfort of being able to use a familiar payment method in our U.S. stores.”
Souheil Badran, president of Alipay Americas, noted that Lacoste stores can reduce payment and language barriers for Chinese tourists at the register via Alipay, and enhance the experiences such visitors have in stores.
“Chinese travelers love brands like Lacoste, and we are thrilled to partner with Verifone to simplify their checkout experience at select Lacoste stores nationwide,” said Badran.
For some time now, Alipay has been in expansion mode in both the U.S. and around the globe. The payment service boasts more than 500 million registered users and plans to grow that number to exceed 2 billion within the next 10 years as it expands its global reach. Alipay currently powers hundreds of millions of transactions per day.