Leading smart payment providers from Norway and Finland will launch Europe's first joint QR code payment scheme next year using the standard of China's mobile and online payment service Alipay, the companies said on Wednesday.
Users of Norway's Vipps and Finland's ePassi will be able to use their home app to scan the QR code of the partner scheme from 2019 as the two companies created this partnership using Alipay's QR code standard, according to a joint press release sent to Xinhua.
The partnership will offer easier payment solutions to the existing 4 million app users when they travel, with the parties involved hoping to extend this to other European countries in due course, the press release said.
The partnering payment wallets serve a total of 129,000 European businesses, which will benefit next year when they are able to accept QR code payments from their domestic customers and also use the same unmodified system to manage payments by visitors from other Nordic countries as well as by Chinese tourists.
This will also be Europe's first joint QR code mobile payment scheme connecting the users of different payment providers, an Alipay spokeswoman told Xinhua.
Meanwhile, Vipps, which is the most popular payment app in Norway used by over 76 percent of locals, marked its rollout of Alipay in Norway on Tuesday, beginning in the western city of Bergen and then extending this to more key locations across the country.
Vipps has so far enabled over 30 local businesses to accept Alipay payments in Bergen. The company plans to enable more businesses across Norway in preparation for the Chinese New Year tourism peak season in February.
"Our cooperation with Alipay gives merchants unique opportunities to accept mobile payments from Chinese tourists by QR code scanning, as well as new marketing possibilities through the Alipay app," said Berit Svendsen, head of Vipps International.
Merchants who start accepting Alipay for marketing and payments "will also be in an extremely advantageous position when we allow Vipps and ePassi users from Nordic countries to scan those same QR codes to make cashless payments via their app," she said.
Alipay, a powerful combination of payment tools, financial services and marketing platforms operated by Ant Financial, part of Alibaba Group, first launched its operations in Norway in September 2017 to boost Chinese customers' shopping experience in the Nordic country.