This partnership is OCBC’s latest cross-border payments collaboration, following its partnership with UnionPay earlier this year.
Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation (OCBC) will now offer cross-border global payments for its customers through Alipay+ on its digital app, making it the first bank in Singapore that enables this payment method. Alipay+ is a suite of global cross-border payments operated by Ant Group, an affiliate of Alibaba.
According to a release dated Sept 19, OCBC Singapore customers can now scan and pay at Alipay+ merchants in Malaysia and South Korea. This payment solution will be available in Mainland China from Sept 22.
In all of these three markets, merchants include key tourist sectors like retail, food and beverage, attractions, and transportation.
Payments will be made directly from a customer’s OCBC Singapore bank account, according to the release, and there will be no need for 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+, which can be monitored in real-time, with no additional fees and charges.
OCBC says that this partnership acceptance as a payment option in China coincides with the start of the 19th Asian Games in Hangzhou, in which they anticipate travel to and from Mainland China to ramp up following 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.
This partnership marks OCBC’s latest cross-border payment collaboration, following its partnership with UnionPay earlier this year. OCBC also established cross-border payment linkages to enable peer-to-merchant transactions with Malaysia’s DuitNow QR and Thailand’s PromptPay QR in the last 12 months.
The release says that this feature will be “progressively rolled out for usage in other markets” by the end of the year, including Japan, Hong Kong, Macao, where Alipay+ is widely used.
“We are excited to be the first bank in Singapore to partner with Alipay+, which has a vast global merchant network,” says Sunny Quek, head of global consumer financial services at OCBC. “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.”
Douglas Feagin, senior vice president and head of Alipay+ cross-border mobile payment services, Ant Group, says: “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."