Alipay, China’s biggest payment platform, has launched a new mini-program which integrates online cab-hailing services from five overseas platforms, which include Southeast Asian ride-hailer Grab, across 10 countries and 33 cities today.
The new mini-program allows Alipay users, mostly Chinese tourists, to use cab-hailing services in ten countries, including the UK, the United States, Australia, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, UAE, Malaysia, Indonesia, and Philippines, to use Chinese currency as preferable payment through Alipay.
With this new mini-program, Chinese tourists can use their Alipay accounts to access the cab-hailing aggegrator Splyt, a UK based mobility startup, without needing to download different apps and set up different accounts for different cab-hailing platforms.
However, the ride-hailing apps currently available for Alipay users under the agreement with Splyt are limited to Grab, Israeli firm Gett, US Uber-challenger Lyft, Estonia’s Taxify, and Careem from the Middle East. Notably, big players like Uber, Ola, and Go-Jek are still absent from the Alipay-powered mini-program.
“Consumers don’t want 100 different apps…This brand-new taxi hailing mini-program makes it possible to search, book and pay for taxi rides in our users’ native currency,” said Kiki Wu, Director of Business Development at Alipay’s Cross-Border Business.
Splyt CEO Philipp Mintchin said the collaboration with Alipay could help support local tourism worldwide as the number of Chinese tourists keeps growing every year. “We’re delighted to launch this groundbreaking collaboration with Alipay to help ease the journeys of its users when abroad,” he said.
The mini-program could further extend its cab-hailing services to more than 20 countries and regions by the end of 2019, according to Alipay.