London-based FinTech unicorn TransferWise said on Tuesday (March 17) that it is partnering with Alibaba’s Alipay to power international money transfers in China.
“We’re on a mission to make your life easier and save you money. With this partnership, you’ll be able to send CNY to Alipay users seamlessly or receive money faster and easier from TransferWise,” according to a statement by TransferWise.
The partnership gives TransferWise’s estimated 7 million customers the ability to transfer Chinese yuan from 17 currencies to Alipay’s 1.2 billion users across the globe. Money can also be sent using Alipay’s local digital wallet partners.
“Your money will be sent with the real exchange rate — like the one you see on Google,” TransferWise said. The FinTech said it handles £4 billion in transactions every month.
China is projected to be one of the top remittance recipient countries in the world, with £54 billion expected to be sent back home by Chinese ex-pats and migrants living abroad, the company said, referring to a 2019 report.
“Our newest partnership with Alipay has been one of the most requested features from our users since our expansion in Asia,” Kristo Käärmann, co-founder and CEO of TransferWise said, according to reports. “Alipay functions as the primary payment method for more than a billion people in China and we are excited to be bringing instant international transfers to the fingertips of Alipay’s users.”
“This also brings us one step closer towards our mission of Money without Borders, and is a continuation of our vision of making cross border payments instant, convenient, transparent and eventually free,” he said.
Founded in 2011 by Estonian friends Käärmann and Taavet Hinrikus, the startup set out to make foreign exchange fees more transparent.
TransferWise has a valuation of $3.5 billion following its last funding round of $292 million in May 2019. The startup has raised a total of $772.7 million in funding in 10 rounds to date.
In June 2019, TransferWise rolled out a debit Mastercard in the U.S. that also included a TransferWise Borderless multicurrency account.