OCBC is first bank in Singapore to offer global cross-border payments via Alipay+
OCBC Singapore customers can now scan and pay at Alipay+ merchants in Malaysia and South Korea using the OCBC Digital app; they will be able to do so in Mainland China from 22 September 2023.
Singapore, 19 September 2023 – OCBC has become the first bank in Singapore to avail Alipay+, a suite of global cross-border payments and marketing solutions operated by Ant Group, through the OCBC Digital app. Under this partnership, OCBC customers will be able to pay at millions of merchants stores in Alipay+’s global ecosystem using the OCBC Digital app. Payments are made directly from their OCBC Singapore bank accounts, and there is no need for OCBC customers to download, set up and fund third-party payment apps or to queue for currency exchange. The exchange rate applied is offered by Alipay+. It is competitive and can be seen in real-time, with no additional fees and charges.
OCBC Singapore customers travelling to Mainland China, Malaysia and South Korea will be the first to enjoy this service. Since 8 September 2023, they have been able to pay at Alipay+ QR-enabled merchants in Malaysia and South Korea. From 22 September 2023, OCBC Singapore customers will be able to do so in Mainland China, where they can pay at tens of millions of merchants. In all these three markets, merchants include key tourist sectors like retail, food and beverage, attractions, and transportation, and offering users greater everyday conveniences as they travel.
This feature is expected to be especially welcomed by OCBC Singapore customers travelling to Mainland China, where merchants have largely adopted cashless solutions and e-wallet payments – such as Alipay – are widely accepted across the country. In Mainland China, Alipay is used for almost everything, from being able to hail a taxi to paying for meals and coffees to shopping online from a myriad of Chinese e-commerce stores.
OCBC’s acceptance as a payment option in China coincides with the start of the 19th Asian Games in Hangzhou, and when travel to and from Mainland China is expected to ramp up, especially given the recent resumption of the 15-day visa-free entry for Singaporeans and the Chinese government’s elimination of the need for a pre-departure Covid- 19 antigen test.
By the end of the year, the feature will be progressively rolled out for usage in other markets, such as Japan, Hong Kong SAR and Macao SAR, where Alipay+ is widely used.
This scan-and-pay feature is the latest cross-border payment collaboration for OCBC. In the last year alone, OCBC has established cross- border payment linkages to enable peer-to-merchant transactions with Malaysia’s DuitNow QR and Thailand’s PromptPay QR, among others.
Mr Sunny Quek, Head of Global Consumer Financial Services, OCBC (郭 斯强, 环球个人银行总裁, 华侨银行), said: “We are excited to be the first bank in Singapore to partner with Alipay+, which has a vast global merchant network. The initial roll-out in these three countries, including Malaysia, which Singaporeans visit often, and Mainland China, where Alipay+ is ubiquitous, will bring a lot of convenience to our customers.
“People want payments to be hassle-free and intuitive. That is a selling point for us because our customers are already very familiar with the OCBC Digital app. Just like how they would make a PayNow QR payment in Singapore, they can now similarly make payments at Alipay+ merchants overseas. As we continue building up the OCBC Digital app’s cross-border payment capabilities, we will be able to help our customers pay the same way, regardless of where they are in the world.”
Douglas Feagin, Senior Vice President and Head of Alipay+ Cross-Border Mobile Payment Services, Ant Group, said: “Trusted regional banking leaders like OCBC are pillars in building a new global ecosystem for broad- based digital financial inclusion. Alipay+ is honored to work with OCBC, and we look forward to supporting our valued partner to expand their international footprint, connect to merchants globally, and create richer, seamless and borderless payment experience for their globe-trotting consumers.”
Introduced by Ant Group in 2020, Alipay+ enables local businesses, especially small and medium-sized businesses, to process a wide range of mobile payment methods and reach more than 1.4 billion regional and global consumers, through one-time integration and simple technical adaptation. Alipay+ enables digital payments from e-wallets, banks apps and buy-now-pay-later (BNPL) apps to be accepted at millions of merchants globally within the Alipay+ ecosystem. It is widely accepted in popular travel destinations including the Chinese mainland, Macao SAR, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Japan, South Korea, Italy, France and Spain among others.
How this works
Payments are made directly from OCBC customers’ Singapore bank accounts up to the daily transaction limit of S$1,000 – sufficient for the everyday traveller’s expenses. Customers will see the exchange rate on the OCBC Digital app before they confirm their transactions.
There are two ways for the payment to be made: Customers can either scan the merchant’s QR code to initiate a transaction (known as the merchant-presented mode), or they can have their QR codes scanned by the merchants (customer-presented mode). Both ways will be available when the service is available for usage in Mainland China, Malaysia and South Korea.
When a merchant scans a customer’s QR code
When a customer scans a merchant’s QR code