As of Feb. 8, customers in China no longer may top up their Alipay accounts using credit cards, according to a notice Alipay distributed to its customers.

Alipay is similar to PayPal, where customers may transfer funds to their Alipay account from their bank account or by using a credit card to fund their purchases.

The company’s ban on using credit cards to recharge their accounts is in line with card-safety measures announced in China’s newly announced Internet Payment Services Management approach, an Alipay spokesperson tells PaymentsSource.

Under that approach, China’s banking regulators made it clear that “credit cards could not be used to make an advance deposit online,” effectively ruling out the topping up of online wallets like Alipay using a credit card.

The spokesperson expects the order to have a minimal effect on Alipay users because they still have the option to make payments from their online bank accounts.

“There are many other channels to top up an Alipay account, and the lack of a credit card channel would not harm our operations in any significant manner,” she says, adding that the move by default will increase the security perception around Alipay.

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