AlipayHK announced that Hong Kong users can pay through QR code in the selected stores in the Guangdong-HongKong-Macao Greater Bay Area.
AlipayHK started in 2017 and has functions including P2P transfers and mobile payments. Till yesterday, it only accepted transactions in Hong Kong Dollar.
As a new feature to attract users
It might attract users with the easy money exchange function?
In Hong Kong, the dominated methods of payments are cash, Octopus card and bank cards (Visa/Master).
For cash, it can be inconvenient to do the money exchange.
Octopus cards cannot be used in anywhere outside Hong Kong. Moreover, it has not been innovative these years and serves basic loadable card functions.
For Visa/Master cards, it is widely accepted in mainland China since UnionPay dominates the market.
Challenges it might face:
Since Hong Kong residents are so used to the above payment methods, it raises a serious question that if there are enough incentives for them to take Alipay as their main payment method.
More info about AlipayHK:
AlipayHK is a 50-50 joint venture established and managed by the CK Hutchison Holdings Limited and Ant Financial Services Group, which are controlled Li Ka-shing (李嘉诚) and Jack Ma (马云), the richest in Hong Kong and mainland China respectively.
CK Hutchison, a multinational conglomerate has more than 600 stores in Hong Kong and spans over 50 countries covering ports, retail, infrastructure, energy, and telecommunications fields. It can be seen that CK Hutchison is able to help AlipayHK expand rapidly via its network of shops.
According to the South China Morning Post, AlipayHK attracted 100 thousand active users and partnered with around 400 retail outlets in the first two weeks.
Overall, the partnership with CK Hutchison and direct subsidies to customers are likely to boost the number of total users. However, if those customers will be active constantly and take AlipayHK as main payment method remains a question.
Why launch AlipayHK:
Alipay is one of the largest mobile payment platforms by market share with more than 700 million active users in China. According to Ipsos, a market research company, Alipay and WeChat Pay constitute 92% of the total mobile payment market.
Thus, in order to seek more growth, Alipay decided to expand overseas.