(Yicai Global) Jan. 17 -- Shanghai Metro passengers will be able to scan QR codes with their smartphones to pay fares with Alipay citywide from Jan. 20 as firms fight to popularize their mobile payment solutions in the transit sector.
Shanghai Shentong Metro Group Co., the operator of the subway system, and Ant Financial Services Group reached an agreement last month that will enable travelers to use the Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. unit's remittance app to pay for their rides, meaning they will no longer need to buy tickets or metro cards to get on trains.
Alibaba and Tencent Holdings Ltd. are vying for the mobile payment market in the public transportation sector. Tencent took the lead in November 2017, unveiling QR code payment services in the Guangzhou subway that allow passengers to board trains after paying with the tech firm's WeChat app. Alibaba followed suit by introducing its offerings in Guangzhou and Xiamen last month.
The Shanghai Metro already uses Ant Financial voice recognition technology for ticketing. Ant Financial plans to bring its face scanning and passenger flow analysis services to Shanghai.