Cambodian E-Payment Startup, PiPay, partners with Chinese E-Payment Giant, Alipay

With less than 6 months into operations, one of the Kingdom’s most innovative digital payment solution companies, PiPay has partnered with Alipay, the world’s largest online and mobile payment platform operated by the Ant Financial Services Group, on 20 December 2017.

If you are not aware of what Pi Pay actually is, Pi Pay has revolutionised the cashless payment landscape in Cambodia through its consumer-facing app that incorporates merchant payment services with a range of social and lifestyle features including Chat, Maps and Friend Finder, and a growing network of retail partners in the Kingdom.

Aiming to become the Kingdom’s local equivalent of regional e-payment behemoths like WeChat and Alipay, this platform especially targets young, internet-savvy Cambodians who are between 17 to 30 years old, to propel the usage of this application in a nation where cash is king; with an estimated 5 million unbanked citizens.

Pi Pay combines convenience, security and reliable service into a single payment app; while accommodating to a wide range of partners from different sectors like dining, entertainment, high-end retail and lifestyle brands.

Since their launch, Pi Pay has rapidly grown to become the go-to mobile payment option across the capital, with more than 168,000 downloads of the app and $27 million U.S. dollars being spent or transferred by users on the app.

This partnership between Alipay and Pi Pay came shortly after Pi Pay’s recent partnership with local bank and Cambodia’s leading private financial institution, ABA in October, that allows consumers of both Pi Pay and ABA to link their accounts conveniently to their mobile banking and cashless payment apps; as well as seamlessly transfer funds between their Pi Pay mobile wallets and ABA accounts through the use of the respective mobile applications.

For the case of the Alipay partnership, Alipay decided to become Pi Pay’s first local partner in Cambodia to acquire merchants to join the Alipay platform and better reach Chinese tourists. This comes after research has shown that Chinese tourists are visiting the shores of the Kingdom in record numbers, accounting for almost a quarter of the 5 million tourist arrivals in 2016, and on track for over 40% increase in 2017.

With this partnership, Alipay is now immediately available as a payment option for Chinese tourists across Pi Pay’s merchant network in Cambodia, which consists of over 1,400 businesses at the moment, including everything from high-end dining, haute couture fashion and spa treatments to mini-marts and petrol stations.

Following that, Chinese tourists travelling to Cambodia can just use the Alipay app for payments wherever Pi Pay QR codes are available. Cambodian merchants who are partnered with Pi Pay will be able to use their Pi Pay terminals to take payments from Alipay users – increasing their potential customer base among visiting or resident Chinese who use Alipay.

For now, the Alipay-Pi Pay acceptance points are only situated in Phnom Penh, but will be expanded to Siem Reap and Sihanoukville in the near future, according to the two companies.

As explained by Pi Pay CEO Tomas Pokorny, the partnership was a natural decision; especially with Pi Pay’s established position as Cambodia’s cashless payment option of choice, and with the increasing number of Chinese visitors expecting the convenience of paying for goods and services with their phones as they do at home.

Furthermore, both provide very similar service offerings. For Alipay, the penetration of cashless payment in China has been boosted by the innovative use of QR codes, which allow users to scan a merchant’s printed or dynamic QR code with their Alipay app, enter the amount to pay, and press ‘ok’ – without having to fumble around for cash, and wait for change.

Similarly, this technology allows Pi Pay users to enjoy the same life-easing benefits. Now, with this new partnership, that means that all Pi Pays users can effectively become merchants and accept payments from other Pi Pay or Alipay users for whatever goods and services they might offer, no matter the price.

“We are very proud that Pi Pay’s success in demonstrating the demand for cashless in Cambodia has been recognized by Alipay. We look forward to working together to increase the number of places across the country where Chinese tourists can make cashless payments,” Pokorny said.

“With the Cambodian Ministry of Tourism predicting 2 million Chinese visitors a year by 2020, and with so many of them fully appreciating the life-changing effects of living a cashless lifestyle, we are excited at what this will mean for Cambodia and for our merchant partners who will benefit from this growth in their client base,” he further added.

Cherry Huang, the General Manager for Cross-border Business for South and Southeast Asia at Alipay also shared her thoughts on the new partnership, “Alipay aims to enable the smart lifestyle for Chinese consumers and bring the convenience that they enjoy at home to overseas countries they travel to, and we achieve this through our continuous efforts in expanding our merchant and partner ecosystem globally. With Cambodia being such a popular destination among Chinese travelers, we are excited to work with Pi Pay as our acquiring partner to benefit our users and at the same time, to provide an effective platform for local businesses in Cambodia to reach Chinese consumers.”.

With that, we at Geeks in Cambodia are excited to see how this partnership further unfolds and how it will further shape the up and coming Fintech scene in the Kingdom, with newer technology and maybe even more innovative collaborations with global names! For more information on Pi Pay, you can head down to their website here and to learn more about Alipay, you can visit their website here.