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TransferWise Teams Up with Alipay to Enable Fund Transfers to China

Photo by Tom Fisk from Pexels

A collaboration between TransferWise and Chinese payments and lifestyle services platform Alipay will enable TransferWise’s more than seven million users to instantly send yuan to Alipay users. All that senders require is the recipient’s name and their Alipay ID to have funds from 17 different currencies converted to Chinese yuan and transferred to the account linked to the recipient’s Alipay profile.

“Our newest partnership with Alipay has been one of the most requested features from our users since our expansion to Asia,” TransferWise CEO and co-founder Kristo Käärmann said. “Alipay functions as the primary payment method for more than a billion people in China and we are excited to be bringing instant international transfers to the fingertips of Alipay’s users.”

Käärmann added that working with Alipay helps TransferWise move closer to fulfilling its Money without Borders mission, “and is a continuation of our vision of making cross border payments, instant, convenient, transparent, and eventually free.”

Transferees will also benefit from being able to send money based on the real exchange rate. Eligible currencies are GBP, EUR, BGN, CZK, DKK, HUF, NOK, PLN, RON, SEK, USD, CAD, AUD, HRK, HKD, SGD, and JPY. Up to five transfers to Alipay per month are permitted, with per transaction caps of 31,000 CNY, and an annual limit of 500,000 CNY. TransferWise is celebrating the new offering by giving fee-free, first transfers for the first 100 new customers – as well as a bonus payment of 10 yuan to the recipient on their first remittance from Alipay received. The promotion extends until April 8.

Working with Alipay represents a significant opportunity for TransferWise. Alipay serves more than one billion consumers around the globe, and China itself is believed to be one of the biggest remittance destinations in the world, with Chinese ex-pats abroad expected to send more than $66 billion (£54 billion) back home to China according to a 2019 report from the Migration Data Portal.

“We are committed to working with partners such as TransferWise, using innovative technologies to help global consumers gain access to inclusive financial services,” Alipay Head of Global Remittances Ma Zhiguo said, “creating greater value for society and bringing equal opportunities to the world.”

The announcement comes in the wake of TransferWise’s introducing global money transfers to six mobile wallet platforms in Indonesia (GoPay, Ovo, and Dana), the Philippines (PayMaya), and Bangladesh (bKash).

Founded in 2011 and based in London, U.K., TransferWise has been a Finovate alum since their FinovateEurope demo in 2013. The company has raised more than $772 million in funding, and has earned a valuation of $3.5 billion as of its May 2019, $292 million secondary share sale.