A consumer scans an Alipay QR code to pay for the order at a self-service restaurant in Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province. (Photo/Xinhua)
London-headquartered WorldRemit, an online money transfer service that provides international remittance services, has partnered with Chinese payment platform Alipay to provide a simpler way for consumers to transfer money to China.
WorldRemit said the partnership will focus on innovation, customer experience and speed to market and the collaboration will make remittance services more convenient and affordable, especially for migrant workers globally.
"Until recently the only way to send money to China was via a banking entity, which can be expensive and inconvenient," said Tamer El-Emary, WorldRemit's chief commercial officer. "Alipay has recently gained approval to receive international remittances, this is the first time a mobile wallet service can be the interface to receive funds. Customers who want to send money to China can now do so by simply entering their recipient's Alipay ID rather than bank account details."
El-Emary explained that the digital service will also give recipients the choice on where to put their money after receiving funds.
The World Bank estimates that in 2018, the Chinese diaspora sent more than $67 billion back to their home nation, making China the second-largest recipient of remittances globally.
China is also home to the highest mobile payment penetration globally with 86 percent of China's population making use of mobile payments in 2019 according to a PwC report.
"This mobile to mobile international money transfer service is giving consumers what they want, which is to receive funds via their mobile phones, rather than collecting cash or receiving to a bank account," El-Emary added.
In many markets around the world, the vast majority of remittances are still being sent "offline", which WorldRemit says is time consuming, costly, inconvenient and lacks security.
"There are particular countries where sending money to China has either been via a bank which is expensive, or via a cash agent, which is inconvenient," El-Emary said."This unique proposition delivers an improved service for our current customers and a unique alternative to Chinese living around the world who want to send money home quickly, securely and conveniently."
The partnership with WorldRemit highlights Alipay's efforts to utilize digital and mobile technology, to make financial services more inclusive and affordable, especially for underserved and underbanked individuals worldwide.
Ma Zhiguo, Alipay's head of global remittances, said: "The unique mobile to mobile payment experience that this partnership delivers allows us to provide a convenient money transfer service to Alipay customers."