What Features Does Alipay Have?
At first glance I was happy to find numerous facets akin to what many foreigners have become accustomed to using on Wechat Wallet – a QR scanner, mobile and utilities top-up, lottery services, and fund transfer to contacts options.
Alipay also has menus for movie tickets, Didi taxi hailing, a Dianping-style restaurant review section, and food delivery via Koubei. Exclusive to Alipay, there's a parcel delivery section, allowing you to send packages via a delivery serviceman who will to come to your home or office.
More skeptical users, however, might complain that all these extras make the Alipay menu too busy and overstuffed, especially if they're accustomed to WeChat Wallet's more straightforward (albeit far more limited) options.
It should be noted that historically the biggest issue with setting up both WeChat and Alipay comes when adjoining your bank card to your account.
This step entails replicating your name exactly how it is registered at your bank, which from personal experience is often, but not always, LAST MIDDLE FIRST names (in all caps) with spaces in between and no commas.
This however can vary between banks or even between tellers that have entered your details that day, so if that doesn't work then the only way to ensure that you get it right is by going to you bank branch or give them a call to verify the name with registered them.
If you enter the incorrect details more than three times then you will be temporarily locked out and unable to attempt to register again for 24 hours.
Comparatively, these next parts should be quite simple: Begin by searching for Alipay on your app store.
You'll find an English version with a blue logo and a slogan that says "Alipay: Makes Life Easier."
Hit the download button and hope that Alipay holds true to its promise.
Upon installation, Alipay automatically went to my iPhone's Apple ID, and asked for my credit card information connected with my Apple ID.
It's an international credit card, which irked me because I wanted to use my domestic Chinese bank account with Alipay.
But I went ahead and entered the information, hoping they'd let me use my account of choice later on.
I was then sent an SMS pin – just like when logging onto Wi-Fi at a café – and after I punched that in and set up a personal password, the Alipay app was up and running on my phone.