Alipay, China’s largest e-payment provider, is partnering with local government agencies in China to make public services more accessible to citizens through the Alipay Wallet mobile app.
Through the partnerships, users of Alipay Wallet can use their smartphones to access a growing array of public services, such as checking the status of their applications for visas and passports, getting motor vehicle licensing information and paying for traffic violations.
Alipay is supplying government agencies with cost-effective accounting systems and payment solutions as well as cloud computing and big-data technology to improve the efficiency and quality of public services, the company said. These "city services" currently are available only in Hangzhou but there are plans to expand their availability to 30 cities including Shanghai, Guangzhou, Shenzhen and Xiamen.
Alipay Wallet is China's largest payment app for mobile devices with more than 190 million registered active users. Since its launch in 2013, the versatility of the app has expanded beyond paying for goods and services at physical stores. Users today can purchase taxi rides and movie tickets, order meals, set up and pay for doctors appointments and receive diagnostic results on their phones, purchase local transport passes for overseas travel and get tax refunds for purchases made on holiday, among other uses.
At CeBIT this month, Jack Ma, executive chairman of Alibaba Group, showcased Alipay’s innovative face-recognition payment solution, which is under development. Alipay's parent, Ant Financial Services Group, is an Alibaba-related company.
Alipay accounted for 82 percent of China’s third-party mobile payment sector in 2014, according to a recent report from iResearch.