Smartpay shares soar as it taps into lucrative Chinese market

Smartpay shares soar as it taps into lucrative Chinese market

Shares in payment provider Smartpay (ASX: SMP) have surged more than 50 per cent after it announced a major deal with Chinese giant Alipay which has 520 million active users.

Smartpay's deal with Alipay, China's largest online and mobile payments provider, will give its 25,000 merchants access to the estimated $11 billion in Chinese tourist spending in Australia and New Zealand.

Shortly after the deal was announced, SMP shares soared as high as 64 per cent before finishing on Tuesday at 19.5 cents, a rise of 39 per cent. At around 11am AEDT on Wednesday, SMP shares rose a further 12 per cent to 22 cents.

Smartpay will take a cut of each Alipay transaction on its EFTPOS terminals, with a trial set to launch in New Zealand next month.

Smartpay managing director Bradley Gerdis says the partnership is aimed at aligning with the company's strategy of becoming a leading financial transaction acquirer in Australia and New Zealand.

"Innovation is a key factor in our strategy to offer a complete end-to-end acquiring product and this partnership with Alipay will give us a competitive point of difference in important market segments, particularly tourism and hospitality," Gerdis says.

Our implementation of Alipay showcases our market leading SmartConnect cloud based open API payments platform as we leverage our investment in this cutting-edge technology to bring value added solutions to our merchants."

Smartpay is Australia and New Zealand's largest independent full-service EFTPOS provider which has around 25,000 merchants with approximately 35,000 EFTPOS terminals across New Zealand and Australia.

Chinese tourism is providing significant growth in both Australia and New Zealand and visitor numbers are expected to reach 2.2 million and 1.6 million respectively.

Alipay country manager George Lawson says Smartpay is well poised to capitalise on the high growth in Chinese visitor numbers.

"Alipay is not only a payment capability used by tourists but also by thousands of Chinese students and migrants," Lawson says.

"These are very lucrative markets that are rapidly expanding."

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