Talking With: Alipay’s Souheil Badran About Merchant Partnerships, Consumers’ Needs
Few things have changed as it relates to Alipay’s push in North America since Souheil Badran took the stage in October at annual Money20/20 conference in Las Vegas.
Alipay continues to hone in on partnerships, with merchant acquirers and processors, to expand acceptance in North America of the company’s popular mobile app — one that sees almost 530 million active users.
And with a good portion of those users visiting Canada and the U.S. every year for vacation, Alipay wanted to make sure those consumers have the ability to pay for good and services in a way they were already comfortable with.
Mobile Payments Today recently caught up with Badran, the president of Alipay North America, in a phone interview to discuss the company’s approach to Canada and the U.S., as well as some things that are going on in China. The following is an edited transcript of the original conversation.
MPT: What has been Alipay’s path since your presentation at Money20/20?
Badran: We’ve continued on that path with the strategy of working with partners in North America. Since Money20/20, we’ve announced FreedomPay, the Verifone deal. For us, that’s really key in getting to the market faster, especially with larger merchants that already have connectivity with some of these acquirers and processors.
Then, from an ISV side, we’re working with the likes of Citcon and other players to get us to some of the other segments of the market. We will continue focusing on the partnerships because that drives the technology and makes it easier for the merchant to enable Alipay. It also shows that the partners are offering value-added services like Alipay as well.
On the marketing side of it, we will work with the merchant on how they can attract the Chinese consumer into their stores.
MPT: With those merchants, what do you tell them in terms of how to best attract Chinese tourists?
Badran: It’s really about showing the opportunity to them. We look at it from the perspective of, can we attract more volume and more people into the store to have them spend, in this case using Alipay.
We will work with the merchant. We will show them where our Alipay users are. As much ubiquity as we’d like to have, the reality is that we’re focused on the bigger cities and certain segments with those cities like food and beverage, hospitality, tourist attractions. We’ll zero in on those segments and work with the merchant and show them on a normal day, how many Alipay users are at their store.
Through our Discover platform, the merchant has the ability to put an offer in place on really anything depending on what the merchant is trying to accomplish. It’s less of a pitch to the merchant and more helping the merchants cater to the consumer that’s using Alipay 10 to12 times a day. This is more than just payments. Alipay users are in the app looking for offers or ordering an Uber.
To read the original press release, click here.