El Corte Ingles rolls out Alipay in stores
El Corte Ingles is preparing to accept non-cash payments through the Alipay payment system across its store portfolio, following a new agreement with e-commerce company Alibaba to attract more Asian consumers.
The retail group will integrate the platform, which is used by more than 520 million people, enabling users to pay for their purchases with their mobile phones at all El Corte Ingles stores in Spain and Europe.
The service relies on QR codes, with retailers required to use the SmartPay camera to scan to code to make payments. Alipay is the most widely used payment method in China, becoming popular for its convenience and speed.
In addition to transactions, non-EU Alipay users will be able to receive VAT refunds directly to their accounts, without having to queue at refund counters.
In 2018, Spain is expected to welcome over half a million Chinese tourists, and El Corte Ingles is visited by 150,000 Asian consumers every year, according to the company. The retail group is also investing in promoting Spain as a tourist destination, and its Castellana store is one of the ten most visited European shops by Chinese tourists.
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