U.S. firm Stripe said today that it has agreed to global deals with Alipay and WeChat Pay, two digital services that dominate consumer spending in China. Alipay, which is managed by Alibaba affiliate firm Ant Financial, counts over 500 million users, while WeChat Pay — the digital payment feature within China’s top chat app WeChat — claims more than 600 million users.
Beyond sheer numbers, both services dominate the landscape in China, accounting for more than 90 percent of China’s mobile wallet market. They are estimated to have processed close to $3 trillion cumulatively in 2016, according to a UN report, which put Alipay slightly ahead of $1.7 trillion compared to $1.2 trillion for WeChat Pay. Stripe itself claims handles “billions of [U.S.] dollars a year for hundreds of thousands of businesses.”
These new deals won’t do much for Stripe in China — that isn’t the point. Instead, they make it possible for online retailers across the world to accept payment through China’s most popular wallet services.
Stripe previously had a deal with Alipay that covered the U.S. market, but now its reach is global. The Alipay integration also support recurring payment, which allows for subscription services including Saas and a number of consumer payment plans.
Initially, integration with WeChat Pay — which is run by $330 billion tech giant Tencent– is in a private beta, meaning that it isn’t available to all Stripe merchants just yet.
Stripe, which is valued at $9 billion and has raised $460 million from investors, also announced the launch of its service in Hong Kong today. In total, it covers 25 countries worldwide. The service had been available in Hong Kong for beta users for around one year.