Tencent Tech, 11/30/11
Chinese third-party payment processor Alipay today launched an online travel escrow service that allows travelers to complete payment for travel packages once they've returned home. The new solution marks Alipay's entrance into the RMB 150 bln online travel market.
Customers who purchase travel products such as group packages can entrust their payment to Alipay and sign an electronic contract with the travel service provider. Once the trip is over, customers can unfreeze the funds and complete the transaction if the contract was honored.
In the event of a dispute, Alipay will work with consumer rights organizations to mediate the dispute and determine compensation while payment remains frozen.
Users will be able to log into participating online travel sites using their Alipay credentials to make purchases.
Alipay currently has 600 mln registered users including 30 mln users of its Express Checkout online payment-by-credit-card service, with 33.6 mln transactions daily and over 100 participating financial institutions.