Can I use Alipay in the USA?

Alipay is a digital payment platform developed by the Chinese technology company, Alibaba. It was created in 2004 as a service for Chinese consumers to make online purchases and send money to friends and family. Today, Alipay has expanded globally and is used by millions of people worldwide, but the question remains, can you use Alipay in the USA?

The short answer is, technically, yes, but it may not be the most convenient option. Alipay is primarily used in China and other Asian countries, but it has been expanding its reach in recent years. However, it is not as widely accepted in the US as other digital payment platforms like PayPal, Venmo, or Apple Pay.

To use Alipay in the US, you would need to create an Alipay account and link it to a Chinese bank account. This can be challenging for non-Chinese residents, as Alipay requires a valid Chinese phone number and government-issued ID to verify your account. Without a Chinese bank account, it will be challenging to add funds to your Alipay account and use it for purchases.

There are a few ways to use Alipay in the US, but they require some additional steps. One option is to use Alipay through an e-commerce platform that accepts it as a payment method, such as AliExpress. Another option is to use a third-party service that allows you to transfer money from your US bank account to your Alipay account, such as TransferWise or WorldFirst. However, these services may charge fees or have limitations on the amount you can transfer.

It is also worth noting that Alipay has faced scrutiny from US lawmakers due to its ties to the Chinese government. In 2020, the Trump administration considered banning Alipay and other Chinese-owned apps in the US, citing national security concerns. While the Biden administration has not pursued a similar ban, it is unclear how future US-China relations may affect the use of Alipay in the US.

In summary, while it is possible to use Alipay in the US, it may not be the most practical option for most users. Unless you have a Chinese bank account and can verify your Alipay account with a Chinese phone number and ID, it may be challenging to add funds and use Alipay for purchases. However, as Alipay continues to expand globally, it may become a more widely accepted payment method in the US in the future.