Chinese residents can now pay Australian bills through Alipay

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  • Fintech startup Novatti offers service through Alipay
  • Australian BPAY bills can now be paid with ewallet

Chinese migrants living in Oz have this week been offered an easy solution for paying their Australian bills. Thanks to a new platform developed by fintech money transfers startup Novatti, they can use money stored in the immensely popular ewallet Alipay to avoid slipping behind on their rent and utilities.

The platform, chinapayments.com.au, allows Chinese consumers including residents, tourists, students and migrants to settle their local Australian BPAY bills swiftly and easily with Alipay.

The initiative is being seen as a significant step given the rising numbers of Chinese residents living in Australia. While Australians may not be too familiar with Alipay, it is hugely popular in China, where it has become one of the major ewallet providers in the People’s Republic. Along with WeChat, it accounts for a massive 99% of the Chinese market.

Chinese consumers have come to rely very heavily on money transfers solutions such as WeChat and Alipay for daily transactions – whether online, in physical retail stores, or for electronic money transfers and paying bills.

Peter Cook, Novatti Group CEO, explained that the new chinapayments.com.au app will deliver a welcome, easy-to-use means of paying bills on a day-to-day basis to the steadily climbing number of Chinese consumers residing in Australia.

He said: “As a company at the forefront of innovation for new payments solutions for the global market we are delighted to announce the launch of the platform, another plank in our strategy to support the booming China-Australia market. We believe that this new platform will better benefit Chinese residents in Australia, which is a unique market full of opportunities.”

Data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics shows that, as of February this year, there were more than half a million (526,040) Chinese-born people living in Australia. Just five years ago, the total stood at 387,420, suggesting that Australia has become an increasingly popular destination for work, tourism and study amongst Chinese people.

But the number may well be much larger than these figures imply – the 2016 census shows that there are over 1.2 million Australian residents who have Chinese ancestry.

Chinese students are also highly attracted to Oz. Current estimates suggest that 30% of all international students in Australia in March 2018 hailed from China.

Chinese students and new migrants typically find it exceedingly difficult to obtain Visa or Mastercard debit or credit cards, as virtually all financial institutions demand that customers possess a valid Australian residential address, along with a raft of other types of ID bearing the same address. That, frankly, can take months to put in place, which is why Alipay is such an appealing solution for anyone in this predicament.

As Cook observes, Chinese migrants who don’t have an Australian bank account or credit card will certainly not have a Chinese alternative that works in Oz either. How are they to pay, say, the energy bill when it’s due? Internet banking isn’t an option because these consumers don’t have an Australian bank account, and neither is paying by Chinese credit card because it won’t work. People may end up being unable to pay at all.

Cook continued: “This new platform will allow people to use their Chinese denominated money to pay these bills they're incurring in Australia.”

Currently confined to BPAY via Alipay, Novatti plans to extend the platform to WeChat and China Union Pay shortly. ​​​


Daniel Webber
Daniel Webber
Founder & CEO
Daniel is Founder and CEO at FXcompared and has numerous years of experience in the international finance world, especially within the media, technology and property sectors. Daniel is passionate… Read more

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