Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group's (NYSE: BABA) affiliated third-party payment processor Alipay recently announced a new offline vendor support program, according to which the company will provide services for nearly 100 mln small-scale local merchants throughout China, including offering RMB 1 trln in loan support over the next three years.
Alipay's support program includes both "growth support" and "loss protection" components.
The "growth support" side of the program includes loans, credit-based buying services, small business classes, and brand upgrade services. Loan services will be provided by Zhejiang Internet Commerce Banking (MYbank), an affiliate of Ant Financial. In terms of credit-based procurements, Alipay has created a means for sellers on its 1688.com China-market small enterprise B2B e-commerce platform to offer purchasing services and opportunities to purchase goods on credit for offline small merchants. Small merchants will also be able to invest their daily business proceeds through MYBank's account balance fund investment service Yuli Bao.
Under the "loss protection" side of Alipay's support plan, vendors will be able to submit insurance claims to receive compensation in the event that their Alipay business QR scan code is stolen or maliciously replaced. Ant Financial's Ant Insurance will also provide outpatient medical insurance for merchants that use Alipay's scan code to receive payments, and insurance limits will increase in proportion to the merchant's sales volume. Merchants will be able to submit claims for reimbursement of all types of standard daily medical expenses.