Alipay, a mobile payment system of e-commerce conglomerate Alibaba, is reportedly to acquire a stake of up to 25% in Wirecard AG, a German banking software company, according to a German source.
Alipay owns over 400 million active users of its payment systems in China, occupying 50% of the market share in online payment and 80% of mobile payments in China. In addition, its mobile wallet system is also widely used in both retail stores and online transactions.
Wirecard, a German provider of outsourced electronic payment options in many global regions, is seeking a large shareholder since its share price has slumped under pressure from short-sellers. On the other hand, Alipay is reportedly keeping on Wirecard’s technological expertise.
Early in Dec 2015, the two companies have reached a collaboration on innovative point-of-sale (POS) payment acceptance based on Internet technologies and value added services in Europe, enabling Chinese tourists to pay with smartphones via the Alipay app at authorized POS retailers, without incurring currency exchange fees.
Furthermore, Wirecard is working with a subsidiary of Munich Airport GmbH, a professional retailer specializing in the operation of airport stores, making it possible for Chinese tourists to pay for any shopping at participating retailers in the arrivals and departures areas of Munich Airport via Alipay since mid-July, 2016.
The spokesman of Wirecard has not commented on this report as of the press, but confirmed that negotiations with many companies are underway. On the flip side, a source at Ant Financial, a related but separate financial company directly under Alibaba founder Jack Ma, said that the company had not entered a negotiation with Wirecard.