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Alipay rolls out 'Tap!' function to enhance in-store experience

Alipay rolls out 'Tap!' function to enhance in-store experience

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Alipay has introduced the “Tap!” function to expedite in-store mobile payments for users in China.

This new function is designed to streamline the checkout process and improve efficiency for merchants, offering a simplified experience compatible with both Android and Apple mobile phones.

Instead of using "card emulation mode", Alipay’s “Tap!” operates in a "reader mode," where the smartphone scans the merchant’s NFC tag and activates the Alipay app to complete transactions online.

This approach retains the ease of QR code payments while reducing the payment steps by at least three. This also means that Alipay’s “Tap!” is not a typical NFC payment method, but essentially a simplified version of QR code payment.

On the other hand, the “Tap!” feature requires the phone to be unlocked for manual confirmation before completing transactions, ensuring secure authorisation by the phone’s owner. Users with Alipay’s small-amount password-free payment feature enabled can expedite transactions after tapping and confirming, while others may need to enter a password for finalisation.

Merchants can integrate “Tap!” seamlessly by installing a USB add-on to their existing cash registers, complementing current QR code payment methods without disruption. This flexibility extends to supporting popular QR payment providers in China, such as WeChat Pay, Meituan Pay, and QuickPass, through the add-on’s built-in camera.

While “Tap!” does not support NFC wallets' “Tap to Pay” functionality, it can coexist with other NFC payment devices without issues. This compatibility allows merchants to adopt “Tap!” alongside existing payment solutions.

Alipay is currently rolling out “Tap!” in major Chinese cities, with initial adoption efforts underway through partnerships with retailers such as Hongqi Chain.

MARKETING-INTERACTIVE has reached out to Alipay for more information.

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