Re-creating Alipay—Recreating the local version of Alipay in 9 countries and regions along the “Belt and Road”

At Arabica, a web celebrity coffee shop in the Philippines, many young Chinese people buy coffee at noon every day and use their phones to scan the code to pay, as in China.

These young people come from Ant Financial and travel to the Philippines every week for 3-5 days to provide technical support for local wallet GCash: basic training of local technicians to enable them to skillfully develop application layer, and various ways to motivate these local technicians to work with more enthusiasm.

 Arabica, a web celebrity coffee shop in the Philippines


Over the past two years, the Indian version of Alipay Paytm is the first product of the global team of Ant Financial services, and technicians have traveled to India frequently. Today, the number of Paytm in India has risen from 30 million to more than 250 million users in the world’s fourth-largest e-wallet, with Ant Financial technicians traveling to India at a much lower frequency, turning to more countries such as the Philippines, Malaysia and Thailand.

Mobile payment has spread all over the streets and alleys in China, and the “alipay blue” that serves Chinese tourists’ offline payment has also covered more than 40 countries and regions around the world.

Ant Financial has proposed a mobile payment “One Belt And One Road”, a local version of alipay in nine countries and regions along the “One Belt And One Road” line, serving more than 3 billion people worldwide.

Ant financial’s idea of building a local wallet outside China is to collaborate with local Internet companies, Banks or technology and finance companies to bring its technology to market.

The experience of ant financial in following the development of Indian e-wallet Paytm is that the technology of e-wallet is not an urgent need at the early stage of development. However, as the number of users increases, business scenarios increase and transaction number increases, the underlying support technology and stability of e-wallet will become very important and urgent.

At the beginning, the ant technical team encountered two big problems in the development process of Paytm in India. One was whether the user tied the card to himself or not. The other is a spike in trading that cannot be sustained. The technologies from China’s alipay mainly focus on security risk control, fraud prevention, anti-money laundering and other basic technologies.


Localization needs to conform to local habits, but sometimes it also needs to challenge existing habits.

For example, as India is a big film country, the habit of indians to watch movies has long been to go to the cinema first, select films and shows on the spot, wait in line to buy tickets, and then wait for an hour or two for admission.

When Ant Financial initially suggested that Paytm go online to buy movie tickets, the other side thought it would not work, because indians do not like to know in advance, so they prefer to go to the cinema to queue up temporarily, enjoying a sense of surprise.

But ant financial’s employees stuck to their judgment that time would be scarce as the economy grew and the middle class rose, and convinced Paytm to give it a shot. As a result, Paytm sold a sixth of all cinema tickets in India just a month after the feature went live. Today, this feature has become an important business scenario for Paytm, which today accounts for 22% of the box office sales through Paytm.

Another issue that localization needs to address is the stability of payments – a big problem in the case of underdeveloped networks.

In India, due to the network instability, the bank card will be delayed when it is charged to Paytm. Users have received the text message that the bank money has been transferred to Paytm, but Paytm has not received the money.

The engineers came up with an idea to improve the user experience: as long as Paytm had received the information that the money had been transferred from the bank, Paytm would have paid the money in advance to the Paytm account — a demand that would have been unexpected in the Chinese market.

In the Philippines, GCash has been operating for one and a half years, with the largest number of offline recharging points for its partners, which has reached 12,000. Convenience stores, shopping malls, operators’ outlets, remittance outlets and pawnshops have all been developed as recharging points, which is unthinkable in China.

 The Philippines is a cash society: 66 per cent of Filipinos do not have any bank accounts, 34 per cent of city dwellers can’t even have a bank branch nearby, and 90 per cent have no credit history, let alone credit cards.

Philippine Mynt CEO Anthony Bluntly, GCash in the Philippines, the biggest opponent is cash, users of mobile payment has not been a good use of habits.

 GCash combined with Filipino users like small high-frequency consumption habits selected a few key development of the application scenario, mobile phone recharge is one of them. Users are accustomed to a small amount each time, more than 10 times a month, and even some users only serve as the day of the amount of money, which is the mobile payment loved the scene, has been gcash developed into the most important payment scenario.

In Malaysia, ant financial and its partner TnG will give priority to the development of payment scenarios of transportation, train, bus, subway and highway. On the one hand, the partner is the largest local prepaid card company. On the other hand, traffic is a very strong scene that can cover almost everyone’s daily life.
Ant’s vision is to serve more than 2 billion consumers and 20 million small and medium-sized enterprises worldwide in the next five to 10 years, said Eric jing, CEO of Alibaba affiliate Ant Financial .