When going abroad, many wonder how to make payments for purchases and services. Mobile payments are getting more popular, but they may not work in a foreign country. China is known for being advanced in this area, from paying by QR code to paying “with face.” One of the solutions for paying in China by foreigners is Alipay Tour Pass. How to install and pay with Alipay Tour Pass?
What is Alipay Tour Pass?
Alipay Tour Pass is a service provided by Alipay Hangzhou, which is owned by Ant Group. It allows using the Bank of Shanghai prepaid card service via the app. Once you set it up, you can pay by mobile payment electronic card in mainland China.
Who can use Alipay Tour Pass? Is Alipay for foreigners?
Foreigners can use Alipay in China. You can use Alipay Tour Pass as long as you:
- have a mobile device running on iOS or Android (overseas phone number)
- have an international card issued by relevant international card organizations
- are a natural person
- hold a foreign passport
- have an entry visa to the PRC.
How to set up the Alipay Tour Pass?
- Download Alipay to your device.
- Register an account. You can use an overseas mobile phone number.
- Select the international version and enter the Tour Pass program (on the home screen or from the search bar).
- Complete your information, link your bank card, and load your funds to the prepaid electronic card.
How to add a foreign credit card to Alipay Tour Pass?
How does it work? Bank of Shanghai provides you with an electronic prepaid card and deducts your capital (equivalent to the RMB amount) you enter from your international card you provide. Then the money is transferred to the prepaid card. Finally, you can purchase goods and services in China, excluding some regions.
The international card has to be issued by:
- VISA International
- MasterCard International
- Diners Club International Ltd.
- JCB Co. Ltd.
It means you can use your Revolut card with Alipay in China.
To get the prepaid card, you have to submit your information:
- contact information
- date of birth
- passport first page
- valid visa
- bank card information.
Once the information is confirmed, you must use the Prepaid Card to activate the Alipay quick payment service. The card is valid for 90 days. After this period, the remaining funds are automatically refunded. The minimum balance is RMB 100, and the highest amount is RMB 10,000.
How to top up your Alipay Tour Pass prepaid card?
You can deposit money on a prepaid card by choosing the “loading service” option. The total deduction amount of your international bank card is the entered amount, the fee rate, and the exchange rate (determined by the Bank of Shanghai). In other words, you are charged an exchange rate and fee rate when transferring money from your international card to your Alipay Tour Pass prepaid card.
How to pay with Alipay Tour Pass?
When in the store, ask at the checkout, “支付宝可以吗？” (Zhīfùbǎo kěyǐ ma?). If the answer is “Yes” (“可以,” Kěyǐ), proceed to pay. You can present your QR code to a seller (“pay” option) or scan the QR code at the checkout (“scan” option). Make sure your prepaid card is topped up with the needed amount!
If you want to purchase public transportation tickets, choose your location, “Transport” from the home screen, and your preferred mode of transportation. Then scan your QR code when entering the vehicles or at gates.
You can also select the “Uber” option in the app to book a driver. You only need to enter your destination.
If you want to pay for services like food delivery and alike via apps Damai, Meituan, or Ele, you can also pay using your Alipay Tour Pass.
Note that some stores may not support non-Chinese mainland bank cards.
Are there any limitations on the Alipay Tour Pass prepaid card?
- The service does not work in Hong Kong, Macao, and Taiwan.
- You cannot give red packets.
- You cannot transfer money from one prepaid card to another prepaid card within the program.
- You cannot purchase financial products.
- Your single top-up and annual cumulative payment may be limited.
- Alipay is exempted from liability for damages if the service does not work due to force majeure factors, power supply malfunction, improper use, malware attack, and other reasons.
Paying with Alipay in China
Alipay Tour Pass makes traveling across China a seamless experience. You no longer need a WeChat account or a China bank card.
To find out if the service is for you, make sure to read the terms and conditions when registering.