Alipay, China's online and mobile payment platform operated by Ant Financial Services Group on Friday announced its partnership with VTB Group, one of Russia's leading banking groups.
VTB Group has recently started merchant acquiring for Alipay payment services in its over-120,000-POS-device network. It is expected that more than 1 million Chinese travelers will benefit from the new partnership every year, according to Alipay.
Alipay is the pioneer in China's cashless society, currently securing more than 520 million active users.
The launch of the program is set to ensure more convenience and safety during Chinese shoppers' trips to Russia.
"Average ticket size of Alipay users is two to three times higher than in other payment methods, hence we expect high demand for the new service from merchants," said Alexey Kirichek, VP, director of the Merchant Acquiring Department, VTB24.
Chinese tourists reached 1.18 million in 2016, a rise of 15% year-on-year.
In the near future, Chinese tourists will be able to use Alipay to buy bus or metro tickets, according to Alipay.
Alipay has been expanding to in-store offline payments both inside and outside of China. Over 10 million brick-and-mortar merchants now accept Alipay across China. In addition, it is accepted in over 30 countries and regions, with in-store payments covering more than 200,000 retail stores.