S’pore users can now use OCBC Digital, Changi Pay apps to shop in China

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SINGAPORE – Singapore users of OCBC Digital and Changi apps will be able to make cashless cross-border payments at competitive exchange rates through Alipay+, a mobile payment platform, to Ant Group’s network of merchants in mainland China.

For OCBC’s customers, this is a boon as they will not only be able to shop online, but will also be offered real-time exchange rates that are competitive and without additional fees or charges. This new payments option bypasses the need for the user to download a third-party payment app.

In addition, those travelling to the mainland can use their OCBC banking app to pay Alipay+ QR-enabled merchants from Friday, extending the same experience they have been enjoying in Malaysia or South Korea since early this month.

OCBC said in a statement on Tuesday that the launch of the payment option was timed to coincide with the 19th Asian Games in Hangzhou, when travel volumes are expected to spike.

The bank added that this payment option will be gradually extended to other markets such as Japan, Hong Kong and Macau.

OCBC head of global financial services Sunny Quek said: “We’re excited to be the first bank in Singapore to partner with Alipay+.” He added that the initial roll-out will be to markets where Alipay+ is most widely used.

He said that having this new feature on the bank’s app “will make paying for goods and services while travelling abroad very convenient for our customers, especially with China opening up”.

“As we continue building up the OCBC Digital app’s cross-border payment capabilities, we will be able to help our customers pay the same way, regardless of where they are in the world,” he said.

For the Changi Pay e-wallet, which can already be used with immediate effect for transactions in China, users must first link their Changi Pay account with a corresponding account with regional mobile payment services firm Liquid Group.

Changi Pay is a tie-up between Changi Airport Group (CAG) and Liquid set up in 2021 and can be used at almost 70 per cent of the outlets in the airport’s terminals and Jewel.

CAG’s executive vice-president for commercial, Ms Lim Peck Hoon, said that this was part of the group’s digitalisation efforts, and it has plans to “progressively roll this out in other countries”.

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