The top m-payment provider in the world is implementing several local assistance strategies.
As Wuhan re-opens after having been the heart of the COVID-19 pandemic, Alipay mobile wallet is moving forward with a number of measures to help local merchants recover.
The m-payments giant has 900 million direct customers and is launching new assistance efforts.
Alipay mobile wallet is owned and operated by Ant Financial Services Group. It has 900 million direct customers. It recently created a special page on its smartphone app. This page is meant specifically to identify merchants in Wuhan and the products and services they sell. The purpose is to make it easy for users to locate what they need and buy from those local merchants.
The application also features local tourist destination live streams. Moreover, users can shop through the app to buy local specialty products. The idea is to make it easier for people in Wuhan to find what they want from local merchants in order to support those businesses that are just getting on their feet again. These businesses have been closed for months and the survival of many will depend on what happens right at the beginning.
The Alipay mobile wallet support will help connected merchants to access wider opportunities.
“In every hardship, there lies an opportunity to envision and create a brighter future,” said Ant Financial CEO Simon Hu in a press release. “We firmly believe that after the COVID-19 outbreak, service providers who are able to tap into the power of digital technologies will come out the strongest.”
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Merchants using this mobile payments app will also be able to apply for loans. This is being made possible through “Zero Contact” campaign launched by 100 Chinese banks. Among those financial institutions is MyBank, which is a digital bank owned by Ant Financial and which serves small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).
To offer additional assistance to Wuhan offline micro businesses, MyBank is waiving interest rates. This will affect about 360,000 companies in the city and will apply for the first month that the city has reopened. Moreover, Hubei province merchants outside the city itself will benefit from a 20 percent reduction in interest rates.
The Alipay mobile wallet company is also taking part in a three-year plan unveiled in March. It is meant to support thousands of independent software vendors (ISVs). The company is working with about 1,000 of them by offering incentives to use their smart marketing tools and digital cashier assistant to help in building online storefronts. The company expects to help in building about five million chain store brand digital storefronts over the next three years.