Alipay has landed in the U.S. following its do-everything social payments competitor WeChat, who moved in last week, signaling the start of a payments arms race here.
Alipay, China’s dominant mobile payments company under Ant Financial, signed a deal Monday with First Data, the U.S. card processing giant, that will allow Chinese tourists in the U.S. to make purchases at its 4 million merchant locations using Alipay.
The expansion stateside follows that of Tencent Holdings’ WeChat, which announced its plans in February and arrived in the U.S. on Thursday.
“These consumers love to shop in the U.S. because they find items here they would otherwise not be able to find in China, and pricing that is much more affordable,” said Souheil Badran, president of Alipay North America. “Our focus will continue to be on enabling the Chinese consumer to use Alipay at U.S. merchants.”
Mobile payments still lag behind China, but growth is expected to top the Asian country in the next year, according to estimates.