Partnerships with Alipay, WeChat Pay eliminate a payment hurdle

Digital payment services in China are increasingly wending further from home as they seek to expand into foreign markets. This week, platforms Alipay and WeChat Pay took another significant step in that direction through a partnership with Stripe, a US-headquartered firm that offers a service similar to PayPal’s that gives both merchants and individuals the ability to make online payments.

Through the partnership, anyone who uses Stripe will be able to accept payment via both Alipay, operated by Alibaba affiliate Ant Financial, and WeChat Pay, the payment service owned by Tencent. In other words, the agreement gives merchants who use Stripe the ability to process payments made using either of China’s two most popular digital payment services.

That means that consumers in China—where credit card penetration remains relatively low—will have a much easier way of paying for purchases from vendors in any of the 25 countries in which Stripe operates. According to projections from Mintel, cross-border B2B and retail ecommerce sales in China were estimated at RMB626 billion ($94.23 billion) in 2016, and are projected to hit RMB1.28 trillion ($193 billion) by 2021.

For Stripe, the partnerships were a no-brainer.

“The Chinese market accounts for half of mobile wallet spending globally, and…