(Yicai Global) June 6 --"No cash is the future trend. China is the leader in mobile payments. We welcome these new ways of payments and the options are left open for users," Monaco's Minister of State Serge Telle said this week in an interview with Yicai Global.
One of Europe's more diminutive nations, Monaco is the first party with the status of a country to sign a memorandum of cooperation with Alipay, and connect its local merchants to mobile payments.
Alipay, operated by Ant Financial Services Group., is the payment arm of Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. [NYSE:BABA]. It has now transcended the bounds of China and committed itself to creating a global mobile payment network. In the overseas market, Alipay's scheme is to buy or acquire local leading enterprises in mobile payment, infiltrate as a bottom-line service provider, and then take them abroad. In addition to India's Paytm, which is now in the Alipay acquisition basket, it also plans to grab Thailand's Ascend Money, Mynt in the Philippines, Emtek in Indonesia, and KakaoPay, a payment tool spun off from Korea's version of WeChat -- KakaoTalk.
Alipay International's current first task is undoubtedly overseas offline payment expanding on the coattails of Chinese tourists, while the strategy to penetrate emerging markets such as India and Thailand in the form of capital investment or strategic cooperation is the second, Douglas Feagin, senior vice president in charge of Ant Financial's international business, told Yicai Global. In his future vision, electronic wallets from different countries can be used with merchants in various countries, with consumers using their most familiar app to make code-scanning payments.
Ant Financial proposed a plan in March to make China a cashless society within five years and, on April 18, teamed up with the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) to form a cashless coalition to promote a global cashless society.