payments processing

Alipay – which is like the PayPal of China – has extended its partnership with US payments processing giant First Data. 

The new deal will cover a network of more than 6 million retailers and 4,000 financial institutions around the world.

The agreement was made public through separate interviews by the two companies with the South China Morning Post.

Alipay is part of the Alibaba Group, which recently acquired US-based payments technology provider Acculynk.

Alipay transactions will be routed through Acculynk gateways.

The partnership with First Data is aimed at facilitating the payments made by Chinese tourists around the world, which are expected to number around 200 million by 2020.

“We have taken a global approach with our First Data partnership. We are both global providers and will leverage our capabilities in the appropriate regions,” said Souheil Badran, the president at Alipay North America.

Alipay is said to have a total of 400 million users in China, which is about half the country’s online payments market.

Not many other numbers about Alipay are made public, but parent company Alibaba has annual revenues of approximately $22 billion.

Just by way of comparison, PayPal has revenues of approximately $11 billion.

First Data, meanwhile, also has annual revenues of $11 billion, but it is said to have the largest number of merchants worldwide – estimated to be around 6 million.

First Data, established in 1971, was a spin-off from American Express, the credit card company. It went public in 1992 and subsequently merged with First Financial Management Corp, which owns Western Union.

In a separate story, accounting software giant Sage has sold off its North American Payments business to private equity firm GTCR for $260 million.

The company is said to have come under pressure because of increasing competition from the likes of Apple, Google’s Android Pay, and PayPal, according to The Register.

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