Business-only bank Tyro in deal with China’s Alipay

August 30 2018

Australian business-only bank Tyro has entered into an agreement with the world’s largest ­online payment platform, Alipay, to become the first Australian bank to offer an all-in-one Eftpos solution with the ­Chinese outfit.

The partnership, which will be live from the second quarter of 2019, is designed to improve Australian business access to the Chinese visitor market.

“Based on requests from several of our merchants to accept Alipay, Tyro and Alipay entered discussions to explore the best way we could work together,” Tyro CEO Robbie Cooke told The Australian. “With Tyro’s in-house engineering team, we were able to deliver Alipay in an agile way which allows for rapid market delivery.”

Mr Cooke said the tie-up with Chinese tech giant Alibaba gave Tyro insights into new payment behaviours and the types of innovations happening in China.

“This allows us to explore how these trends might take shape in Australia,” he said. “It is also a fantastic opportunity for our business customers to benefit from this partnership so they can reach out into the Chinese market, if that fits in with their expansion strategy.”

George Lawson, ANZ country manager at Alipay, said banks were pivotal to Alipay’s expansion in Australia, given they ­allowed Alipay to switch on its technology for thousands of merchants simultaneously through their existing payment terminals. “Australian businesses have been calling out for their banks to partner with Alipay to improve their exposure to the rapidly expanding Chinese visitor market so it’s pleasing to see Tyro take the lead on this and give their merchants access to new customers and incremental revenues,” he said.

He pointed to statistics showing in the year ending February, almost 1.4 million Chinese tourists visited Australia, injecting $10.4 billion into the economy. This is predicted to rise to $13bn by 2020.

Data from Nielsen, meanwhile, shows 65 per cent of Chinese tourists use mobile payment platforms during overseas travels, six times more than non-Chinese tourists. In ­addition, more than 90 per cent of Chinese tourists said they would consider using Alipay when travelling if Alipay were more widely accepted by foreign merchants. “Without Alipay, Chinese visitors need to use cash or other credit cards which may not have as favourable an exchange rate, and it’s unclear how much they are being charged in their own currency, which can ­severely limit their propensity to spend,” Mr Cooke said.

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