Alipay International Transfer: Bridging The Gap In Global Payments

alipay international transfer

In today's interconnected world, sending money across borders has become as essential as a phone call. International money transfer, once a cumbersome and expensive process, has been revolutionized, offering speed, convenience, and affordability.

Whether you are supporting family abroad, paying for overseas studies, or simply transferring funds for business purposes, understanding the world of international money transfer opens doors to a more connected and financially empowered you.

An international money transfer usaully comes with transfer fees, different exchange rates, transfer speed and transfer limits, depanding on your location. Having a good understanding about these can lead to a successful transaction.

This is your gateway to exploring the exciting world of international money transfers with Alipay. Get ready to learn how to send and receive money across borders with ease and efficiency using Alipay.

What Is Alipay?

Alipay is China's leading mobile and online payment platform, kind of like a mix of Venmo and PayPal rolled into one. Launched in 2004, it's become hugely popular with over 800 million users.

Alipay functions like a digital wallet where you can link your bank accounts, credit cards, or debit cards to the app and use it for various transactions:

  • Online payments for shopping and services (like on AliExpress).
  • In-store purchases by scanning QR codes with your phone.
  • Money transfers to friends and family.
  • Paying bills and utilities.

Also, Alipay offers more than just payments. The app includes features like:

  • Investment options.
  • Booking travel tickets.
  • Accessing discounts and deals.

While primarily used in China, Alipay has expanded to over 300 cities worldwide and even offers English support in the app.

It is important to note that sending money internationally out of China is currently restricted for foreigners. China has strict capital controls in place, which limit the amount of money individuals can transfer out of the country. This is primarily to prevent large-scale capital flight and maintain financial stability.

However, anyone can receive money sent through Alipay within mainland China.

Alipay International Transfer:

Alipay's international transfer capabilities depend on whether you are trying to send or receive money.

Before using Alipay, you need to create a account. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to create an Alipay account:

How To  Create An Alipay Account

1. Download the Alipay App: Search for "Alipay" in your app store (Google Play or Apple App Store) and download the app.

2. Open the App and Select "Sign Up": Open the Alipay app and look for a "Sign Up" button. It might be located on the main screen, the bottom menu, or within a "New User" section.

3. Choose a Sign-Up Method: You will usually have a few options:

  • Phone Number: Enter your phone number and receive a verification code through SMS.
  • Email Address: Enter your email address and receive a verification code via email. 
  • Social Media Account: If you are in China, you might be able to link your Alipay account to a local social media account (like WeChat or Weibo).

4. Provide Personal Information: You will need to provide your basic personal information, such as:

  • Full Name
  • Date of Birth
  • Gender
  • Country/Region
  • City

5. Set Up a Password: Choose a complex password that combines uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols for your Alipay account.

6. Link a Payment Method: You will need to link a payment method to your Alipay account. Common options include:

  • Bank Account: Link your Chinese bank account.
  • Credit/Debit Card: Link a Chinese credit or debit card. 
  • Balance: You can fund your account with a balance that you can then use for purchases. 

7. Verify Your Identity (If Required): Alipay might require you to verify your identity, especially if you are linking a bank account or want to use specific features. This might involve providing additional documentation, such as a passport or ID card. 

8. Complete the Setup: Once you have provided all the necessary information and verified your identity (if required), your Alipay account will be created.

How to Send Money Internationally with Alipay:

Here is a step-by-step guide on how to send money internationally with Alipay:

1. Open the Alipay App or Website and log in to your Alipay account. 

2. Navigate to the "International Transfer" Section: Depending on your Alipay version, you may find it under "Transfer," "Send Money," or a similar option. 

3. Select the Recipient Country: Choose the country where you want to send money. Alipay is accepted in countries like China, Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, South Korea, Japan, Taiwan, Vietnam, Philippines, and Indonesia.

4. Choose a Payment Method for the Recipient: Select the preferred payment method for the recipient. Common options include:

  • Bank Account: Transfer directly to the recipient's bank account.
  • Mobile Wallet: Send money to the recipient's mobile wallet (if supported). 
  • Cash Pickup: The recipient can pick up cash at a designated location.

5. Enter Recipient Details: Provide the recipient's details, including their name, account number, and any other necessary information, depending on the selected payment method.

6. Enter the Amount: Enter the amount of money you want to send. 

7. Review and Confirm the Transfer: Alipay will display a summary of the transaction, including the transfer amount, fees, and estimated arrival time. Carefully review this information before confirming the transfer. 

8. Authorize Payment: You will need to authorize the payment using your linked payment method (bank account or credit card) or by entering a security code (if required).

While it's possible to transfer money out of China with Alipay International, it is not always the most seamless or convenient option due to the limitations and complexities mentioned above. Exploring other international money transfer services (like: Wise, Remitly, WorldRemit, Western Union, MoneyGram, PayPal) might be a more suitable solution for some individuals, depending on their specific needs and circumstances. 

Important Tips:

  • Check Fees: Make sure you understand the fees associated with the transfer. Fees can vary depending on the recipient country, payment method, and amount.
  • Currency Conversion: If the transfer involves different currencies, Alipay will automatically convert the amount. They may charge a currency conversion fee.
  • Estimated Arrival Time: Pay attention to the estimated arrival time for the transfer. This can vary depending on the recipient country and payment method.
  • Review the recipient's payment method: Ensure the recipient's bank account or mobile wallet is compatible with Alipay International transfers

Remember: Always double-check all the details before confirming the transfer to ensure accuracy. Alipay International is generally a safe and reliable way to send money internationally.

How To Receive Money With Alipay Internationally:

Here is how to receive money with Alipay internationally:

Who can receive?

Anyone can receive money sent through Alipay, as long as the recipient's account is in mainland China. This means your nationality doesn't matter.

What the sender needs to do:

The person sending you money will need to use a service that allows international transfers to Alipay. Here are a couple of options:

  • Money Transfer Services: Popular choices include Wise, WorldRemit, Remitly, Xoom or Western Union. These services typically allow sending money directly to Alipay accounts.
  • Banks: Some banks offer international money transfer services that might be compatible with Alipay. The sender should check with their bank for details and compatibility.

What you (the receiver) need to do:

1. Have an Alipay account: You will obviously need an Alipay account set up for receiving the money.

2. Link a collection method: There are two ways to receive the money:

  • Alipay balance account: Link your Alipay balance account for receiving the transfer.
  • Bank card: Link a Chinese bank card associated with your Alipay account for receiving the transfer.

You can add both methods, and Alipay will automatically choose the best option if one is not available.

Here is a general process (the exact steps may vary depending on the sender's service):

  1. The sender initiates the transfer through their chosen service (money transfer service or bank).
  2. The sender provides your Alipay account information (usually your user ID or phone number linked to your account).
  3. You may receive a notification from Alipay about the incoming transfer.
  4. Depending on the service and verification processes, the transfer might be deposited directly into your Alipay balance or your linked bank card.

Be sure to check with the sender for any specific instructions or fees associated with the transfer.

Alipay International Transfer Fee

To find out the exact Alipay International transfer fee, you will need to:

  1. Check the Alipay website or app: Look for a "Fees" or "Help" section. The exact fee structure might vary based on factors like the amount transferred, the destination country, and the chosen transfer method.
  2. Contact Alipay Customer Support: Reach out to their support team directly for the most up-to-date information.

General factors that can influence Alipay International transfer fees:

  • Transfer amount: Larger transfers may have higher fees.
  • Destination country: Transferring to certain countries might have different fee structures.
  • Currency conversion: If you're transferring funds in a different currency, you might incur additional fees for currency conversion.
  • Payment method: The method you use to initiate the transfer could also influence the fees.

Remember to factor in any additional fees from the receiving bank or intermediary financial institutions involved in the transfer.

Final Thought On Alipay International Transfer:

Alipay International Transfer can be a convenient and cost-effective option for sending money internationally, especially for smaller amounts and transfers within their network. However, it's important to weigh the potential pros and cons and compare it to other transfer services before making a decision. 

Alipay has a growing international network, making it possible to send money to a variety of countries. However, it is not available for all countries. Check availability before you plan to use it.