For those who are unfamiliar with Alibaba, they have sometimes been called the Google of China, and they are fast gaining ground. As we all know, Google has recently joined up with Sprint in order to put out Google Wallet, which is Google’s NFC payment services, so it’s not really a surprise to see Alibaba follow suit with their own mobile wallet services – AliPay.
However, unlike Google Wallet, AliPay is said to work on phones that do not possess the NFC technology. The app that is available on iPhone, Android and Nokia platforms have recently been updated, which brings about a new mobile barcode payment system. What the app does is that it creates a unique and disposable barcode that contains the user’s account information and transaction details, both of which will be encrypted.
Shop owners will be able to scan these barcodes using a smartphone’s camera via the AliPay app, or by using a traditional barcode scanning gun. When scanned, the payment can either be deducted from the user’s AliPay funds or from debit/credit cards that have been associated with the user’s account. This looks like it could be more widely accepted than Google Wallet, since it does not need a specific NFC enabled phone, which should encourage wider adoption of their services.