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El Corte Ingles adds Alipay mobile payments to all stores

BBVA develops the infrastructure to allow El Corte Inglés to process Alipay mobile payments by Chinese tourists. Alipay is one of the most popular payment platforms in China. El Corte Ingles alipay
In 2018, Spain expects to welcome over half a million tourists from China, a country that is quickly becoming an important source of foreign visitors. With the expected expenditure of almost €1 billion, they represent a great opportunity for Spanish retailers to boost their sales.
Spanish retailer El Corte Ingles, Europe’s largest department store chain, has reached a deal with Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba to allow users of the Alipay mobile payment platform to purchase goods and services in its stores all over Spain.
The store said the agreement means the 150,000 Chinese tourists who visit its stores each year can use the same QR-based barcode payment system they employ at home when making a purchase. Alipay’s system relies on QR codes, similar to the ones used by airlines for boarding passes. The retailer uses the SmartPay camera to scan the QR Code to make payments. This is the most widely used payment method in China, where QR codes are also used as marketing and promotional tools.

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Except for El Corte Inglés, one of the country’s largest department store chains; Galeries Lafayette, a French department store chain with a location in Madrid; and the Prado Museum, one of Spain’s most popular tourist attractions.

Alipay has also partnered with several Spanish banks and payment processors to enable Alipay payments at a wider range of merchants. For example, in 2020, Alipay partnered with CaixaBank to enable Alipay payments at more than 30,000 merchants across Spain, including hotels, restaurants, and shops.

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However, it’s important to note that while Alipay is becoming more widely accepted in Spain, it may not be accepted at all merchants, particularly smaller or local businesses. It’s always a good idea to check with the merchant in advance to confirm their payment options. Additionally, users should ensure that their Alipay account is set up for international payments and that they have a sufficient balance or linked payment method to complete transactions in Spain.

 

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