- The offering builds on last year’s partnership announcement between Walgreens Boots Alliance and Alibaba Group, an affiliate of Ant Financial Services Group.
- Walgreens will be the largest U.S. drugstore chain to deploy Alipay.
“Walgreens is focused on making shopping more convenient for our customers. This collaboration has particular significance for our Chinese customer population, who now has a new way to experience Walgreens,” said Richard Ashworth, Walgreens president of operations. “Not only can they buy our products via our dedicated store on Alibaba’s Tmall Global marketplace, but they will now also be able to shop in the U.S. using Alipay as they would in China. We look forward to the ongoing evolution of our partnership with Alibaba Group.”
Alipay is the world’s leading digital payment provider and together with its global joint venture partners, serves one billion users worldwide. According to a Nielsen report published in January, "More than two-thirds of Chinese tourists said they used their smartphones to pay abroad in 2018. Nearly 60 percent of surveyed merchants saw growth in both foot traffic and revenue, after adopting Alipay." Alipay is currently available at 3,000 Walgreens stores including cities where Alipay users travel the most such as New York City, San Francisco and Las Vegas, and by April, Alipay’s availability will expand to more than 7,000 Walgreens locations across the U.S.
The Alipay collaboration will allow Walgreens to further meet the unique needs of the more than four million Chinese travelers who are in the U.S at any given time. Walgreens will be the largest U.S. drugstore chain to deploy Alipay, providing Alipay users with potential economic savings as credit cards typically have a higher foreign transaction fee.
“This is a key strategic partnership for achieving awareness in the U.S., as Walgreens is one of the country’s largest drugstore chains. Alipay’s offline, in-store payment service is offered in more than 40 countries and regions, so we are excited to partner with a company that has been trusted across America since 1901, and is constantly evolving to provide more Chinese consumers a seamless and familiar way to pay,” said Yulei Wang, general manager, Alipay North America.
Operated by Ant Financial Services Group, Alipay is the world’s leading payment and lifestyle platform. Launched in 2004, Alipay currently works with over 200 domestic financial institution partners. Over the years, Alipay has evolved from a digital wallet to a lifestyle enabler. Users can hail a taxi, book a hotel, buy movie tickets, pay utility bills, make appointments with doctors, or purchase wealth management products directly from within the app. In addition to online payments, Alipay is expanding to in-store offline payments both inside and outside of China. Alipay’s in-store payment service covers over 40 countries and regions across the world, and tax reimbursement via Alipay is supported in 29 countries and regions. Alipay works with over 250 overseas financial institutions and payment solution providers to enable cross-border payments for Chinese travelling overseas and overseas customers who purchase products from Chinese e-commerce sites. Alipay currently supports 27 currencies.
Walgreens (walgreens.com), one of the nation's largest drugstore chains, is included in the Retail Pharmacy USA Division of Walgreens Boots Alliance, Inc. (NASDAQ: WBA), the first global pharmacy-led, health and wellbeing enterprise. Approximately 8 million customers interact with Walgreens in stores and online each day, using the most convenient, multichannel access to consumer goods and services and trusted, cost-effective pharmacy, health and wellness services and advice. As of August 31, 2018, Walgreens operates 9,560 drugstores with a presence in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, along with its omnichannel business, Walgreens.com. Approximately 400 Walgreens stores offer Healthcare Clinic or other provider retail clinic services.