Alipay Hong Kong offers dollar service

Alipay Hong Kong has launched a service in local currency.

Alipay has more than 800 million users on the mainland with 8.5 million transactions a day.

“For the first time, Hongkongers can register for an Alipay account, load it with Hong Kong dollars, and use their Alipay eWallet to pay [in Hong Kong dollars] online and at brick-and-mortar stores,” says Worldpay chief product officer for global eCommerce business, Kevin Dallas.

In its latest Global Payments Report, Worldpay says it expects this year to be a breakthrough for so-called “alternative payment methods”, which are edging past credit-card payments for the first time with a market share of 51 per cent.

Electronic wallets are expected to overtake credit cards in the global eCommerce market by 2019.

Previously, Alipay’s Hong Kong service had been limited to payments in yuan.

Apple Pay and Samsung Pay launched their Hong Kong services this year, and Dallas says more players can be expected before long. Tencent’s WeChat was awarded a payment licence at the same time as Alipay.

“We can expect the market to consolidate in the next few years as the public hones in on their preferred payment methods, and merchants feel more confident buying into payment technologies their customers have already embraced.”

Electronic payments emerged in Hong Kong with the Octopus Card top-up, tap-to-pay system in 1997.

Alipay is run by Ant Financial Services Group, a unit of Alibaba Group.

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