How to Use Alipay Without a Chinese Bank
When it comes to technology, one might say that China is partially isolated from the rest of the world. It’s forcing its own web portals and social networks and even has its own online payment apps. In some places in China, payment apps, such as Alipay or WeChat, are the only way to pay. Let’s dig in and see how you can use Alipay without having a Chinese bank account.
Verifying an Alipay Account on Smartphone App
One of the first things that you need to do when you install Alipay is to verify your account. However, since you probably don’t have a Chinese phone number, this might be a problem. Here’s how to do this.
- First, download the Alipay smartphone app. There are both Android and iOS versions.
- Sign up by making an account with your phone number. You don’t need to use a Chinese number when traveling there. When you’re done, log in.
- Open the “Me” menu. It’s in the bottom-right corner of the screen.
- In the following menu, tap on your avatar.
- Go to “Identify verification.”
- Choose the “Verify Photo” option and upload your passport picture. If you don’t have it with you, you can try with your ID.
Note: Take a picture of your passport/ID. Do not use a scanned copy.
- Finally, the app will tell you that the verification is “In progress.”. Your identification should be verified within the next 24 hours.
Note: If something goes wrong, you might not have activated your account. You can go to this link to see if this is the case.
Keep in mind that your mobile phone number actually is the name of your Alipay account. In case the account isn’t activated, you’ll get an email from Alipay with steps to help you finish the procedure.
Verifying an Alipay Account on PC
You can also verify an Alipay account on your computer.
- Log in to Alipay and go to the “Account settings” (账户设置). To find this option, go to the first main tab in the top-right corner. Next, go to the third of four smaller tabs.
- In the next menu, you need to go to the first tab on the left if it’s not already selected. Next, select the first option to the right, “Verify Now” (立即认证).
- A big blue “Verify Now” (立即认证) button will then appear. Click on it.
- Enter the required personal info. The fields include your country, your full name as written in the passport, and your passport number.
- Click on the button under these options to proceed to the verification procedure.
- Alipay will then let you know that you’ve successfully submitted your verification request and that it will go through in 24 hours. Once that is finished, you’ll have a verified Alipay account.
Adding a Credit Card to Alipay
Once you have a verified account, you can easily add your own credit card to Alipay.
- Open the Alipay app and go to the “Me” section.
- Go to your account by tapping on your avatar in the next menu.
- Find the “My Cards” option that says “Add Now” to the right. Tap on it.
- The first time you open this menu, you need to select a six-digit transaction password that you will use when making payments.
- Go to “My Cards – Add Now” again.
- Reenter your new password and then enter your bank card number in the “Number” field.
- In the “Fill in bank card information” menu, first, enter your name the way it’s written on your credit card.
- Proceed to type in other details. For the “ID Type,” choose “Passport” if you’re not from China. You’d choose “Home visit Permit” otherwise.
- You will most likely need to verify your phone number. You’ll receive an SMS with the verification code. Enter the code from the message and tap on “Next.” If you’ve done everything correctly, you’ll have successfully added your credit card to Alipay. If this doesn’t work, however, try repeating the procedure with a Chinese phone number.
Making Payments in Taobao
You can use Alipay to pay in certain shops, such as Tmall and Taobao. To make payments in Taobao with an Alipay account:
- Open the Taobao website.
- Register an account if you don’t have one already.
- While checking out, you can select a payment method. Select your Alipay account.
Alipay is so popular in China, that you can use it for most sorts of payment, not just in online shops. These include paying most bills, getting a taxi, and making payments in supermarkets, cafes, or restaurants. Besides that, you can use it to check your bank balance or even transfer money to other people.
What’s your opinion about Alipay? Does it help you carry out your transactions? Let us know in the comments below.