Astra Tech and Ant Group partner to integrate Alipay to Payby’s merchant network
Mita Srinivasan
10x Industry

Astra Tech and Ant Group partner to integrate Alipay to Payby’s merchant network

Abu Dhabi’s 7000-strong taxi fleet and over 3,000 merchants to integrate Alipay+ digital payment solutions to provide access to over 1.4 billion users via native e-wallets in UAE.

Astra Tech, the consumer technology holding group in MENA, has partnered with Ant Group, one of the world’s largest digital payment platforms. This transformative collaboration will witness the integration of Alipay+'s global cross-border digital payment and marketing solutions through the PayBy merchant network, encompassing the entire Abu Dhabi fleet of nearly 7,000 taxis and over 3,000 merchants nationwide across the UAE. Commencing in September, the integration aims to enable over 1.4 billion wallet users to conduct transactions seamlessly, directly from their home e-wallets while visiting the UAE, devoid of any currency conversion.

Astra Tech is among the first regional partners to launch Alipay+ solutions, adding to the company's portfolio of groundbreaking fintech offerings on its Payby and Botim platforms. Under the partnership, the first wave of implementation will see PayBy's merchant network capable of accepting payments from six Alipay+ partner e-wallets, catering to tourists from regions such as China, South Korea, the Philippines, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Italy, and more via their respective native e-wallets such as Alipay, MPay, Kakao Pay, GCash, TrueMoney and Tinaba.

Abdallah Abu Sheikh, Co-founder of Astra Tech and CEO of Botim, stated, "Our milestone collaboration with Alipay+ aligns perfectly with the UAE's commitment to enhancing the payment ecosystem and fostering a commerce-friendly environment. Equally, expanding our fintech services internationally is a testament to our dedication to enabling effortless accessibility of payment solutions on a global scale."

This collaboration is poised to revolutionize the retail landscape in the UAE, providing an unprecedented seamless payment and digital marketing experience for international visitors. It facilitates settlement processes and mobile-based transactions through Alipay+, whether in physical stores or online platforms. The in-store payment process is simplified through more digital options; customers can scan the QR code at the cashier, enter the amount for payment, and confirm the transaction, or merchants can scan the payment QR codes presented by the customers on their mobile phones. This streamlines the checkout process and addresses challenges such as having to exchange currencies, withdraw cash, and language barriers.

This strategic move creates an ecosystem that harmoniously merges commerce, technology, and user convenience. Simultaneously, Alipay+ and PayBy will expand collaboration for online services and merchant digitization efforts, including the introduction of mini-programs for merchants that could further enhance their engagement with customers from Asia and Europe. Alipay+’s suite of marketing solutions is expected to elevate the retail experience for international patrons in the UAE. Simplification remains at the core of this partnership, exemplified by a streamlined documentation process based on a merchant's determined risk profile.

Guoming Cheng, General Manager of Ant Group in Europe and Middle East, "Our alliance with Astra Tech not only opens doors to a seamless and integrated digital payment experience at physical stores in the Middle East, but also propels us towards a new era of strategic collaboration. This partnership extends an invitation to merchants to ride on the digitalization wave, together transform the retail landscape, and become part of this innovative ecosystem.”