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Taking the paying out of life and business


The payment systems revolution is happening, they are disappearing, as these three examples show:

  • The world’s leading mobile payment platform, Alipay, has announced a three-year plan to further open up its platform to support the digital transformation of 40 million service providers across China.
  • PayPal PassPort now offers cover for return shipping costs
  • ApplePay is part of their general mobile phone ecosystem, not just a payment system.

Payment systems are no longer just about payment but rather supporting the users’ life or business.


Alipay, who have some 900 million users, has announced a three-year plan to further open up its platform to support the digital transformation of 40 million service providers across China. 

The plan marks a major milestone as Alipay continues to strengthen its positioning in China, evolving from a platform that provides inclusive financial services to an open, vibrant digital ecosystem that offers users a gateway into a comprehensive digital lifestyle.

Amid the Covid-19 outbreak, Alipay introduced a program that encourages developers to create mini-programs that can help users cope with the impact, including fulfilling various lifestyle needs of those who are living and working from home while minimising the need for physical contact with service providers. Within a week, over 1,200 developers responded, creating 181 mini-programs on the Alipay app that enabled ‘contactless’ services across China, such as grocery deliveries, legal and medical advice, logistics, and public services. 

As part of the opening up, Alipay will be updated in a bid for service providers to tap into traffic within the app, while AI-driven incentive programs will encourage service providers to consistently facilitate the customer experience. Users will also be able to access personalised recommendations from newly added service sections. 

PayPal PassPort

PayPal now offering return shipping costs as part of their PayPal PassPort service. It’s an added service that businesses can offer their customers so making one less thing for “your customers to worry about when they buy online.”

Apple Pay

There are over 450 million Apple Pay users who have the APP on their mobile phone. With security, convenience, monitoring options and other benefits of mobile wallet systems, people are slowly adapting to swiping their smart devices for purchases, eliminating the need for cash, credit, or debit cards and relying more on apps and other software for financial transactions.

Apple Pay Cash and person to person payments now available:

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Apple Watch users can now simply ask Siri to pay someone.

B2B payments

The new blockchain-based trade services, such as Marco Polo’s Payment Commitment solution provides three levels of transaction: physical, information and finance. It addresses the needs of the corporates (buyers and sellers) and allows reducing costs and time to transact significantly for banks and corporates while increasing efficiency and data transparency among the trade participants. Payment is only part of the solution.

CTMfile take: The ultimate example of payment systems being absorbed into supporting the way of life or business is the Alipay ecosystem. Developing stand-alone payment systems is no longer relevant, it is the integrated solution or service that counts.


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