Alipay connects to U.S.-based Asian grocery chain

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Alipay is deepening its reach to Chinese consumers in the U.S. through a partnership with 99 Ranch Market, a 50-store chain of supermarkets specializing in Asian products and food.

The deal will enable customers using China-based Ant Financial’s Alipay mobile wallet to make purchases in 99 Ranch Market stores, through an integration with Citcon, a cross-border mobile payment and marketing solutions provider, Alipay said in a Friday press release. Buena Park, Calif.-based 99 Ranch Market operates in six western U.S. states and New Jersey.

Over the last two years, Alipay has steadily expanded its reach to merchants targeting Chinese tourists, students and other nationals shopping in the U.S., and plans to further intensify its focus in key U.S. markets. One of Alipay’s first big integrations with a Chinese products specialist was a deal announced a year ago with Han Feng, which serves Chinese supermarkets and restaurants on the U.S.’s east coast.

Citcon is a Santa Clara-based startup founded in 2015 specializing in cross-border payments between the U.S. and China. Citcon is also working with other providers to enable mobile payments through Alipay and its rival in China, WeChat Pay.

Mobile payment technology has dramatically reshaped the consumer behavior in China, said Chuck Huang, Citcon’s founder and CEO, in the release. “The habit of using mobile payment, the speed and convenience of use, and the additional benefits and rewards, are all key factors that have driven the mobile payment adoption explosion,” Huang added.

“Our partnership with Alipay will enable us to offer our Chinese customers traveling in the U.S. with a familiar checkout experience that minimizes stress at the register, whether it’s language barriers or payment concerns, while enabling us to better connect with them and draw them into stores,” said Juliet Chen, marketing manager for 99 Ranch Market, in the release.

“Chinese consumers often seek out specialty grocery stores when they travel through the U.S., searching for familiar foods and products that aren’t always available at local supermarket,” added Souheil Badran, president, Alipay Americas, in the release.

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Mobile payments Ant Financial U.S. China