What should you really know about Alipay?

With rapid technology development, mobile payment has emerged as the most popular payment method in the world, especially in China. Alipay is the most widely used payment in China. You will find people scan their QR code with the App on their smartphones to buy some food in the grocery store everywhere. Created by the e-commerce giant, Alibaba, Alipay was launched in 2004 in China. It is a third-party online payment service provider in China, which makes China the world leader in terms of how consumers engage with digital payment apps.

It is the most widely used payment method in China with over 100 million daily transactions and over 520 million active users. Chinese used to paying for anything they need, from breakfast to booking a vacation, with Alipay on their smart device. What it is? Generally speaking, it is an e-wallet that enables people to conduct transactions directly from their mobile device, enable shoppers to store funds to be used online.

How can I get an Alipay account? How does it work? Easy, we will dwell on these questions in this blog and elaborate the frequently asked questions.

How to register on Alipay and get my account?

  1. Go to Alipay, Click “立即注册”, or sign up.
  2. The page will direct to your personal data. The default signup in the system asks for your mobile phone number, if you are fine with it, then you have to input your phone number, and input the captcha code in blue on the page. But if you want to register with your email address, you have to click “使用邮箱注册” (Register with Email Address) in the bottom of the page, and fill your nationality, email address and the captcha code displayed on the page.
  3. Then it goes to your mobile phone number verification. You have to enter your mobile number and make sure “中国大陆” (Mainland China) is ticked, and click “点此免费获取” (Get it for free) of the grey button underneath, you will receive a verification code. And then input the code immediately in the box that pops up.
  4. Then you have to check your email and click the verification link sent from Alipay system. Open the linked website; you have to set your Alipay login password twice and your payment password twice. These two passwords shall be different. The login password must include 6-20 characters (letters, numbers, and punctuations), at least one in capital and no space between them. While the payment password must be a six-digit number, the same password regulation with your Chinese bank card.
  5. The page will forward to the security question. Pick a security question from the drop-down menu and enter your answer in the box underneath.
  6. Here you go to the last step. You fill in your personal details, your name, surname, sex, passport number, and address in China. Pick “护照” (passport) from the menu and click the orange button when you’ve finished.

How could you conduct real-name verification after your registration?

  1. Sign in with your registered account, and click the link next to your username on the homepage: 未认证 (unverified).
  2. Click “立即认证” (Verify immediately) and you will go to the verification page. Choose foreign nationalities underneath the yellow button, fill your name, your passport number, upload your passport photo and your page with entry dates to China, and enter your address and your phone number. Then click the yellow button.
  3. You will find the bank info, you fill in your name associated with your bank account, and the bank name, and the city where your account was opened in, and your bank card number. And then, click the yellow button. It may take 1-2 days for systematic processing.
  4. Then you should complete the real-name verification process, and you should be able to deposit money on your Alipay.

How can you pay your bill on your mobile device?

  1. Download Alipay App (支付宝) on your phone in your App store.
  2. Login with your registered account and password.
  3. Tap “Pay” and show your QR code to cashiers, and they will enter the amount and scan your code. The process is complete, and your expense will be deducted from your account Alipay automatically. And you will get the SMS that notifies your expense immediately.
  4. However, things will go different sometimes. You can find people scanning vendors’ code for payment. How is that going? It generally occurs that the vendor displayed the receiving code of their Alipay accounts. And consumers scan the code and they will find the name of the vendor and then they have to enter their expense amount and input your payment password, you will be directed to a successful payment page on your mobile device.
  5. If the vendor or friend offers his Alipay account instead of a QR scanner or receiving QR, how can you conduct your payment? Take it easy. You can also transfer money to the others’ Alipay account. Click “Transfer”, you can choose to whom you want to transfer your money including your friends, Alipay account, or bank card. If you choose to transfer to Alipay account, you have to enter relevant Alipay account, and confirm his name,  and enter the amount, you will get the payment details, you have to confirm the details, and it goes right, click “ Pay now” in blue button, and then input your payment password, and finish the payment.

Common Questions

  1. How does Alipay work from desktop to mobile?

For this one, a QR code will be generated automatically and displayed to the shopper, the shopper has to open Alipay on his phone and scan the QR code, and then the transaction details will be displayed on the screen, and enter the payment password if he confirms the payment. Finally, the shopper will be directed to a successful payment page and the payment is complete.

  1. Besides CNY, does Alipay accept other currencies?

Yes, of course. Alipay support GBP, EUR, USD, etc. in addition to CNY. And CNY is the preferred currency. If you are traveling abroad where Alipay is available for the vendor, you do not have to exchange your CNY to the local currencies. It will save you a lot of trouble. When you checkout, the system will calculate your CNY expense automatically based on the exchange rate of the day.

  1. Is there any restriction that Alipay not supports?

Yes. Alipay does not support security brokers and dealers, gambling, multi-level marketing, and other illegal business.

  1. What’s the difference between the receiving QR code and the QR code for payment?

Receiving QR code is a permanent one with one Alipay account, while the QR code for payment is a dynamic one that designed for the account security.

  1. Can I change the language?

Yes, of course. You sign in your mobile App, go to “Me-Settings-General-Language” and choose your preferred language. It supports four languages-simplified Chinese, traditional Chinese (Taiwan), traditional Chinese (Hong Kong), and English.

  1. Is Alipay safe to store my cash?

In general, Alipay is safe if you protect your personal info carefully.  Please follow below instructions when you use Alipay.

  • Keep your payment password and login password only to yourself. Remember not to tell them to anyone.
  • Be careful when you enter your password. Please make sure you are in a safe surrounding when type your password.
  • Remember to set a difficult password as easy passwords will be easily guessed by others. Passwords such as “123456”, “111111”, your birthday, and “password” should be avoided.
  • Never show or get your payment QR code photographed by others, which will pose a great danger to your account.
  • Keep your mobile device in a safe operating environment. Never click any suspect URL link or install virus-suspected Apps on your mobile phone.
  • Keep reasonable when you get any SMS or phone calls from scammers.

With an aim to offer a safe, easy-to-use, fast way for individuals and merchants to streamline their business, Alipay emphasize the security system and take different measures to shape a reassured environment for online payment like strict security controls that compatible with the mainstream operating systems on both desktop and mobiles, SMS verification service, digital certificate, payment shield, and security protection question, etc.

  1. Can I use Alipay out of China?

Yes. You are able to use Alipay anywhere as long as the local merchant supports Alipay method. It may be a little difficult now. Although it is attempted to wield its influence in the world, it seems little works. It is mainly targeting at Chinese visitors or Chinese students abroad. As a result, you may not have an exciting experience when you are out of China. You may get Alipay service available at some places in countries like Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, Japan, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, and United States.

  1. Is there any other payment method except for QR code payment with Alipay?

Yes, there are other payment methods such as credit card payment, credit pay, uses your credentials. Among them, QR code is the most widely used method in China.

  1. Is there any other function except for payment on Alipay?

Yes, of course. Besides payment, Alipay also supports financial management, money transfer, and medical registration. Integrated with the mini-Apps in the system, the local service of Alipay enables you to call for take-away food, top up your phone, find your own insurance and housing fund in the city service in the App, and get a taxi to take you home via car-hailing, shop in Taobao and Tmall, book cinema tickets, train tickets and find your vacation hotel, get your delivery info about your packages, etc. 

  1. Is there any commission charge to use Alipay?

Yes, there are commission charges under some conditions when you use Alipay. It will charge you 3% of your turnover when you use VISA, MasterCard, and JCB with Alipay App to shop at Taobao and Tmall platform.

Besides, if you transfer money to your bank card or withdraw that exceeds the regulated amount of the platform, you will be charged. You will have a withdrawal quota of 20,000 CNY (around $3,000). You will be charged 0.1% for each withdrawal once you reach the quota. But money transfer from Yu’E Bao to your bank account remains free for individuals.

  1. I’m an overseas merchant, how can I change my receiving bank account info on Alipay?

Provide the complete info of your updated bank account and send it from your registered Alipay account email address to [email protected] and [email protected]. In addition, provide IBAN/ABA/BSB/SORT CODE for following conditions: IBAN: Settle to EU bank accounts, ABA: Settle USD to US bank accounts, BSB: Settle AUD to AU bank accounts, SORT CODE: Settle GBP to UK bank accounts. If your bank account is opened in Mainland China, the account number must be started with OSA/NRA.

  1. How long is the application process?

Generally, it will take one day for the system to verify your personal data and send you the result of your application. You can check your email.

  1. What does Alipay offer cross-border payment?

With the rising presence on the global stage, Alipay offers cross-border online payment, and cross-border in-store payment as well as customs declaration. As a result, it makes payment an easy way for people’s daily life.

Getting here, everything about Alipay is clear for you. Be it a merchant or an individual consumer, Alipay will lead you to an easy life with its highly efficient service. If you are a merchant and deal business with Chinese people, Alipay will make your business very easy as it is the most popular payment method in China. It’s time to refresh your knowledge about mobile payment. Take out your phone, and choose takeaway food on Alipay. what an amazing life!

About the author

Sharline is the founder of LeelineSourcing.com. With 10 years of experience sourcing in China, She loves to share knowledge and ideas in sourcing bussiness.She writes only the truths which others are normally not willing to tell. This makes her posts distinguishable from other import & export articles.

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