Alipay upgrade: from a payment financial tool to a digital life service platform

Bingge Liu


Alipay, the world’s largest mobile payment platform with over 1.2 billion registered users, has recently been updated to version 10.1.88. It now identifies the positioning towards “Digital Life Open Platform”, where the digitalization of daily-life services has become the main focus. At Alipay Partner Meeting on 10th March, Ant Financial CEO Hu Xiaoming said that Alipay will upgrade from a payment financial instrument to an open platform for digital life.

Alipay Partner Conference 2020

What’s new with Alipay?

In this brand new version, Alipay changed its theme color into a more saturated blue, while the user interface inside the app has also been changed to varying degrees. In terms of the upgrade in user experience, services of delivery, food/fun, accommodation, movie/live show as well as citizen center are listed top on the main page, while more daily-life services such as fresh food and over-the-counter-medicament delivery are also included.

Alipay 10.1.88

The digitalization path of Alipay

The upgrade and transformation have never been a new idea to Alipay. “In the past few years, Alipay has been continuously increasing its openness. We firstly developed the earliest 1.0, tool openness, which opened more than 3,000 function APIs. Afterwards, we moved from 1.0 to 2.0, platform openness, by offering a Mini Program to merchants. At the current moment, we are entering 3.0, the global operating system openness, to share the public capabilities,  public traffics as well as business scenarios with merchants and service providers. “Hu Xiaoming said.

The sudden epidemic of Covid-19 has contributed to a centralized attempt towards online production and digital life transformation in a short period of time. The digitalization wave is affecting all walks of life. Every enterprise is innovating products and serving customers through digital means. With the technological advantages, Alipay is aiding enterprises to achieve digital upgrades and is becoming an efficient choice for them to break through the awkward situation of the service industry.

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From Alipay to the whole service industry

This move has achieved unprecedented results in the cultivation of user behavior and preferences. The current situation has provided Alipay an excellent opportunity, to press the shortcuts of self transform as well as industry revolution at the same time. It was claimed that over 80% of offline services in China are not yet digitized. In the next three years, Alipay will cooperate with 50,000 service providers to help 40 million merchants to accomplish digital upgrades.

While opening the public domain traffic on the homepage, Alipay will also use the trust mechanism, online service system, and membership system as the business foundation to share with service providers and merchants the customer acquisition, business operation, logistics operation, mini program, loyalty management, payment services and LBS of the entire Alibaba business system. With resources opened and integrated, needs of merchants exploited and satisfied, the newly identified business ecosystems will help Alipay to normalize the minds of users born in a special context.

The digital platform of Alipay has laid a solid foundation for the digital upgrade of 40 million merchants in China. In the future, merchants and consumers will experience the convenience brought by digitalization under the active promotion of Alipay and Alipay partners. The first year of comprehensive digitalization of China’s service industry will be worth looking forward to.

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