Alipay, a member of the Internet holding company Alibaba Group, earned in Russia in the summer of 2017 and until now it has been accepted mainly by luxury goods stores. Among the first to connect the TSUM and DLT, shops GUM, Louis Vuitton, Christian Dior, Cartier, etc.
From the end of 2017 - early 2018, Alipay will be joined by the first major food vendors - Lenta and Dixi, number three and four on the Russian market, respectively. This was told to "Vedomosti" by Alipay's development director in Russia, CIS countries and the Middle East Bogdan Zadorozhny. "Dixie" will begin testing a new payment system in December, confirmed the representative of the same name group of companies Vladimir Rusanov. According to the test results from February 2018, the retailer intends to replicate Alipay in the stores "Victoria" and "Dixie" in Moscow, he added. The technology partner of the project is Moby Money, said Christina Skuratovskaya, deputy general director for marketing and corporate communications of the company. According to her, the launch is scheduled to coincide with the Chinese New Year, which will be celebrated on February 16.
The retailer Lenta will start accepting Alipay in the first quarter of 2018, first it will be shops near airports, for example at Pulkovskoye Shosse in St. Petersburg, they know two sources close to the project participants. The acquirer, according to them, will act VTB. A spokesman for Lenta confirmed interest in launching Alipay in its stores. The representative of VTB did not answer on the merits of the question about the launch of payments by the bank of the Chinese system in "Lenta".
Cooperation with leading food chains is the beginning of Alipay's exit into mass retail, Zadorozhny notes: Chinese tourists traditionally prefer Russian products and buy a lot both during excursions around the country and before flights home. The Chinese appreciate Russian products - they consider them environmentally friendly, agrees Skuratovskaya: "We expect that there will be in demand common goods, as well as ice cream and the so-called souvenir assortment: alcohol, confectionery, and so on." That's why, according to Zadorozhnoye, the first partners are the shops near the house and hypermarkets with a very high concentration in places visited by Chinese tourists or where Chinese entrepreneurs and students live. Potentially Alipay can attract additional traffic to the stores at the expense of tourists from China, Rusanov hopes.
Alipay itself is interesting for launching the entire Far East due to the proximity of the region to China, and in the European part of the country - everything that is close to hotels where Chinese people stay, catering establishments, including fast food, says one of the partners of the Chinese company in Russia. Alipay's strategy is to start first of all in the centers of cities with over a million population, tourist centers and near-airport areas, cities participating in the World Cup, food and luxury shops, catering, Zadorozhny confirms. The goal is to distribute Alipay among the bank's customers as much as possible, added Alexei Kirichek, head of the VTB Bank acquiring department. According to him, several dozen partners of the bank have already been connected to the system, including the largest duty-free shop in Russia, Imperial Duty Free in Sheremetyevo, Sapsan trains, Moscow Central Ring stations and others.