Why U.S. Companies Are Accepting Global Payment In-Store and Online.

James Love

Alipay, Purchasing Behavior, Social Commerce, WeChat

April 2, 2019

In order to best meet the needs of its’ Chinese consumers and Chinese tourist that frequent in-store and online. Many major US Retailers have started accepting global payments such as, WeChat Pay and Alipay in their traditonal brick-and-mortar-stores and online e-commerce sites. Due to the fact a large portion of China population is using Alipay and/or WeChat Pay, this has become a great way for companies to build the respect and gain the trust of Chinese customers.

Alipay is the digital payment platform from China’s tech giant- Alibaba. Alipay currently has more than 700 million annual active users and is projected increase by 200 million each year. While WeChat Pay is the payment platform behind the biggest app in China-WeChat. With over a billion active users that nearly reach all of China’s population.

Global Payments in The United States.

Amid this global trend, many North American merchants have begun accepting both Alipay and WeChat in their brick-and-mortar and eCommerce stores. One of the biggest US Companies to understand the potential is Walgreens. Where they’re adding Alipay to their payment options in over a thousand of their pharmacies throughout the United States. Saying in a recent announcement that they will accept global payment in nearly 3,000 stores in various cities like San Francisco and New York City. Where there is a high concentration of travelers from China and Chinese residents. The company also has plans to expand its Alipay offering to 7,000 by the end of April.

Aside from adding a level of convivence and familiarity to Chinese consumers, Walgreens is also offering familiar offerings for customers who are traveling from China.  As Chinese consumers began to make more they’re traveling more. As this joint-partnership between Walgreens and Alipay are seeking to capture this boom in travel by partnering together. General Manager Yulei Wang said in the announcement, “This is a key strategic partnership for achieving awareness in the U.S., as Walgreens is one of the country’s largest drugstore chains.”

The Big Picture Of Global Payments.

As one of America’s biggest pharmacy’s, Walgreens is no stranger to the Chinese market or even Alibaba. The retailer, in fact, launched a flagship store on Tmall Global, a popular e-commerce site that’s owned by Alibaba.  Tmall Global has attracted so many U.S. retailers because it is one of the few platforms that accept foreign companies in. With more than 500 million active users, Tmall is a heavily trafficked website for consumers in China. The popular platform also allows brands to create unique digital virtual stores and many other innovative features.

Aside from Walgreens, numerous fashion retailers have started accepting global payments to their brick-and-mortar stores and online e-commerce stores. One of my most renowned companies to adopt global payments is global apparel company-GUESS?. Inc. Which has exclusively partnered with Alipay to roll out global payments along with their other payment options. This feature would be available in more than 50 of their US in locations like Las Vegas and New York, among numerous other locations.

The Benefits of Accepting Global Payments.

This joint-venture gives US brands the opportunity to really capture Chinese tourist before and after they leave the United States. By accepting their preferred payment methods, companies are building a sense of trust, that positively affects their shopping experience. While the US brands have an end goal of trying to maintain them as a repeat customer. Companies can effectively achieve this by sending promotions via push notifications and geolocations that show the nearest store location available to them.

Aside from retailers, many shopping centers have started working to bring both Alipay and WeChat pay into their facilities. For example, Mall of the Emirates in Dubai, West Edmonton Mall in Canada and the Mall of American in Minnesota are some of the biggest shopping centers to start accepting Alipay and/or WeChat Pay.

Aside from traditional brick-and-mortar stores, many apps are also accepting WeChat Pay and Alipay along with traditional payment methods. Canada’s popular food ordering app, Click Dishes was one the first to launch a WeChat Mini Program for food ordering services for users in Canada. Patrons now have the availability to order food in some of Canada’s most popular cities, truly showing that Alipay is growing traction with merchants beyond China.

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