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Monday, October 23, 2017, 23:03
Alipay sets sights on cash-driven HK street markets
By Lin Wenjie
Monday, October 23, 2017, 23:03 By Lin Wenjie

A receptionist works at Alipay's headquarters in Hangzhou, capital of East China's Zhejiang province, in this Jan 10, 2014 file photo. (PHOTO / XINHUA)

Alipay, the digital payment service platform under Alibaba affiliate Ant Financial, has partnered with street-market operator Hong Kong Market to launch its digital payment services in local street markets, aiming to create Hong Kong’s first cashless street market.

Currently, Alipay has access to 8,000 merchants in Hong Kong; 30 percent of them are small- and medium-sized businesses

“Traditionally, people tend to pay cash when they do grocery shopping in street markets and it is almost a blank market for digital payments, so it will be easier for us to promote Alipay here,” said Jackie Ling, chief executive of Hong Kong Market.

READ MORE: Alipay readies international airports for Chinese tourists

He noted the company has always supported the development of digital payments to accommodate the change of customer behavior. The first street market to adopt Alipay is the MC BOX in Sau Mau Ping, Kwun Tong District. Ling hopes to introduce the digital payment platform to the other 10 street markets under the company in the next few months.

Hong Kong shoppers are used to paying by credit card but some small- and medium-sized merchants don’t have credit card payment systems. So, Alipay is trying to help these shops expand their payment methods, according to Venetia Lee, general manager of Alipay Hong Kong.

“Street market is a good place to develop digital payments, because the transaction frequency here is very high, and the amount is relatively small. The usage of digital payment will save a lot of labor cost for these small-business owners,” Lee added.

ALSO READ: Alipay, Wechat roll out cashless campaign

No transaction fees will be charged in the first three months but later on the amount charged will depend on usage. 

Currently, Alipay has access to 8,000 merchants in Hong Kong; 30 percent of them are small- and medium-sized businesses.

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