• Alipay Creates a Merger with HelloPay

Alipay Creates a Merger with HelloPay (Photo : Getty Images)

Alipay, the largest mobile payment platform in China, is expanding its business to the rest of Asia and will soon be available to more mobile payment users.

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The platform was created by e-commerce giant Alibaba. Its massive 450 million users in China use their mobile devices, such as phones, to send payments to friends, to make online purchases, and even buy items offline at restaurants and stores.

Ant Financial, the firm that manages Alipay, has announced on Wednesday that it has a merger with HelloPay.

HelloPay is a payment platform built by Lazada three years ago. Lazada has been nicknamed as the “Amazon of Southeast Asia.”

In a deal amounting to about $1 billion, Alibaba purchased a controlling stake in Lazada in the previous year.

Even though HelloPay is not as universally used in Southeast Asia compared to how Alipay is in China, the merger would give Alibaba the means and opportunities of expanding Alipay to other Asian countries.

Still, compatibility issues are raised. The new localized Alipay platforms in Southeast Asia are not compatible with the central platform. Thus, Alipay users in China cannot use the payment platform in Southeast Asia, and vice versa.

The versions of HelloPay specific to other countries will be renamed as Alipay Singapore, Alipay Malaysia, Alipay Indonesia and Alipay Philippines.

In an emailed statement to Mashable, Ant Financial Senior Vice President Douglas Feagin verified that there will be no changes made for the users of HelloPay and for its payment partners.

The merger comes in light of Ant Financial’s eagerness for global expansion. Earlier this week, the firm has offered $1.2 billion for MoneyGram, a popular money transfer service based in the U.S.

China’s Alipay, through its merger with HelloPay, will soon be made available to mobile payment users outside China, hence supporting Alibaba’s persistence in pushing its global presence.