What is Alipay? How to use it?

Alipay is widely used worldwide, with over 47 million users. Some foreigners might want to know, what is Alipay? It is an app developed by 1688 that offers e-wallet services.

As experienced sourcing experts, we have dealt with many cases where e-wallets can be problematic. But, Alipay is a pre-eminent e-wallet app established with professional research. You can buy from 1688 using Alipay too.

In this article, you will find out what Alipay offers. We’ll also share how to use Alipay on 1688 and other platforms. Nonetheless, let’s get to it. 

what is alipay

What is Alipay?

Alipay App is an e-wallet app popularly used in China that is free of charge. You can easily register an Alipay account by providing your personal info. 

This app allows you to make online payments, transfer money or pay utility bills in China. The transactions are usually made with a quick scan of a QR code from the app.

Suggested reading: Is Alibaba safe and legit?

How does Alipay work?

Alipay would ask you to register your debit card and credit card details into your account. Then, you’ll need a verification code and complete the real-name verification process. With your verified Alipay account, you can make payments using your phone without cash or bank cards. It made my payment process smoother and easy to handle. My friends also the same method.

Tourists can also use the app while visiting china. Just sign up for the 90-day tour pass and make payments through your debit and credit card details!

Is Alipay safe?

Alipay’s e-wallet has several security strategies to ensure safety when you transfer money:

  1. Advanced Encryption

After making payments, merchants will not receive your bank account details. Instead, they will receive an encryption version without disclosing your bank card details. It feels safe to me because your data is protected. 

  1. Biometric Verification

To avoid other people using your Alipay account, Alipay used biometric verification. Users need to do identity verification beforehand. You’ll also need to scan your faces for face verification before making payments.

  1.  Risk Monitoring

Alipay monitors all real-time risks to prevent fraud attempts. There have been no reports of fraud attempts or leaks of users’ bank card details until now. This feels satisfying to me because you got nothing to worry about. 

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Pros and Cons of Alipay


  • Faster Transaction

The digital payments by quick-scanning Alipay’s QR Code are faster during checkouts. It saves time as you don’t need to wait for your change.

  • Replacing Cash Carrying

You don’t have to carry cash or bank cards around anymore. You can now transfer money with Alipay accounts by simply using your phone. I still remember how I hate carrying my wallet or cash with me, now it’s simpler. 

  • Available in Most Stores

You can use Alipay in many China stores, including street vendors. Foreigners in Mainland China don’t have to worry about changing currency when they have Alipay.


  • Short Term Use For Tourists

Most foreigners that use Alipay without a Chinese bank account can only use it for 90 days. One of my friends visited China and it was useful for him but it was for a limited time. 

  • Complete Record of Spending Information

Alipay has detailed records of your spending. For instance, your purchases, investments, and on-hand money. 

  • Not Insured By FDIC

Alipay is not insured by FDIC which insurances financial corporation. If the company goes bankrupt, you will lose the money in your Alipay account. This is the only reservation I have while using Alipay. 

How to use Alipay to send money?

how to use Alipay

There are several steps to follow to send money using Alipay.

Step 1. Log In to Your Alipay Account

Open the Alipay app and log into your account. Download it and register a new Alipay account if you don’t have one. I already have an account, so I just direct login. 

Step 2. Enter the Receiver’s Country and Amount of Money

Click on ‘China’ as your receiver’s country. Then, enter the amount of money to send money to the receiver. Make sure you have a sufficient Alipay balance. I keep a minimum balance in my Alipay account to send payments. 

Step 3. Choose Payment Method.

Click on Alipay Mobile Wallet as the receiving option for your receiver.

Step 4. Enter Details of Your Receiver

You have to enter your receiver’s details, such as name and Alipay ID. Their Alipay ID is your receiver’s registered mobile number on their Alipay account. It feels similar Paypal experience to me but instead of email, they got phone numbers. 

Step 5. Confirm The Payment.

Confirm your payment to finish the money transfer. Then, your balance will be deducted from your receiver.

You can successfully send money after completing all the above steps.

Suggested reading: Alibaba Payment

How to use Alipay marketing for your digital strategy?

Alipay brings many benefits to merchants worldwide. You can use Alipay to strategize digitally to promote your business. My store saw a small sales boost from my overseas customer, which was positive for me. 

1. Use Alipay Storefront

Alipay Storefront is a store that users can view through the app. It includes the basic details of your business, your products photos, and contact information. You can reach many Alipay users to boost your business by opening the storefront. I found this convenient to pay through the Alipay storefront. 

2. Post-Alipay Coupons

Coupons became an attraction to lead users to consume. Alipay will highlight any published coupons on the user’s Alipay homepage. You can attract customers by posting coupons as a digital strategy.

3. Alipay Geolocation Feature

If you have an Alipay account for your store, it will show your store location to your user. So, your store will pop out and attract users to come to your store.

Looking For the Best Alipay Marketing Method?

Leeline Sourcing always helps buyers BOOST THEIR BUSINESS.

Suggested reading: Taobao Dropshipping
Suggested reading: Best 7 Ways to Use Alibaba RFQ

FAQs About What Is Alipay

Can I use Alipay without a Chinese bank account?

Yes! You can use it as a tourist and enjoy the 90-day tour pass in Alipay without a Chinese bank account. 

Simply register Alipay with your international bank account. You’ll also need to make identity verification with your passport chip.

How Long Does it Take to Get Paid with Alipay?

Alipay will perform verification that can use up to 72 hours. So, it usually takes an hour to 4 days for your receiver to receive the payment. Alipay will send you an email to inform you when your receiver will get the money.

Is There a Fee for Using Alipay’s Payment Service?

No, there is no charge for Alipay’s Payment Service. It is a free financial service app that allows you to make payments online or in-store. You can enjoy the account without worrying about any charges!

Is Alipay the same as PayPal?

Alipay and Paypal have the same concept of e-wallet. Both of them provide users with in-app services to make a payment. The difference between them is that Alipay is widely used in Mainland China while Paypal is popular in the USA.

Can a European company create an Alipay account?

Yes, they can! Companies in Europe can create an Alipay account through the global version of the app. They can register on Alipay without a Chinese bank account to make payments.

What’s Next

Alipay is an excellent e-wallet app that is popular among Chinese citizens. You can also use Alipay without a Chinese bank card when visiting China as a foreigner. It helps make payments just by using the phone. 

Also, worldwide business owners can benefit by using the app with the services. This app created in China will ease your transactions while you are in China!

I hope this post shares valuable information about Alipay for you. Feel free to contact us to get information about Alipay!

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Article by:

Sharline Shaw

Hey I'm Sharline, the founder of Leeline Sourcing. With 10 years of experience in the field of sourcing in China, we help 2000+ clients import from China,Alibaba,1688 to Amazon FBA or shopify. If you have any questions about sourcing , pls feel free to contact us.

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