Ant Financial's Alipay, the payments affiliate of Alibaba, broke into the U.S. last year through a deal with First Data, and now it's expanding in Canada—alongside Tencent's WeChat—through partnerships orchestrated by Canadian tourism authorities.
Canadian foreign-exchange services provider OTT Financial is working with Alibaba and Tencent, which operates WeChat Pay, to expand the two services at key merchants through an initiative backed by Tourism Toronto and the Government of Ontario, according to a recent announcement.
The move will provide convenience for Chinese tourists and local merchants, as China has become the largest overseas tourism market for Toronto, Tourism Toronto said in a press release.
“Through this announcement, Chinese tourists while visiting Ontario will be able to pay for products and services directly in renminbi from their (Alipay and WeChat) apps on their mobile phones,” said Michael Chan, Ontario’s Minister of International trade.
OTT Financial is working with Canada’s AirBank Technologies to enable merchants integrate with the Chinese payment apps, which have gone live in Toronto’s Yorkdale and Square One shopping centers.
The moves are the latest in China's mobile payment advances in North America.
Late last year First Data Corp. announced a deal with Alibaba to expand acceptance of Alipay at 4 million U.S. merchants at businesses that use First Data’s Clover products.