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Alipay offers a whole new level of convenience
2015-06-04
By Yoyo He

Some people say foreigners can't use Alipay, or Zhi Fu Bao, but that is not true. It just takes a little more time but it’s worth it. Once you have an Alipay account and tie it to your bank card, you are ready to experience a smart life in the age of technology. Alipay allows you to transfer money to friends by phone instantly, buy anything on Tmall at a bargain without asking for a friends’ help, pay your utility bills, buy snacks in convenient stores, or pay your cab fare.

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Ready to get an Alipay account? Here is the ultimate guide of how to set up and use your own Alipay account.

Things you should know before we begin:

1. Have your passport and visa card ready and bank account info on hand, make sure you have text notifications set up with your bank.

2. Make sure you know the exact spelling of your name on the bank account, including any spaces, punctuations or abbreviations (some foreigners have long names that don’t fit in the banks’ computer system and thus have been shortened), make sure that your phone number has already been registered at you bank for applying online quick payment.

The rest of this article assumes you’re using Industrial and Commercial Bank of China although the process is similar for other banks.

Step 1 Register an account

1.If you already have an Alipay account, just use your PC to visit Alipay’s homepage: https://www.alipay.com. You'll see this page, click the blue button to log in and skip to step 2. If you don't, you need to click the “Free registration” on the right to create a new account. Then you'll see the following page.

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2. Then you’ll see the following page. As a foreigner, we suggest clicking the tab circled in green to use e-mail to register. If registering with your phone number, it's possible that your overseas phone can't receive the pin code, which is a necessary step.

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3. Then you'll fill out this page. Choose your nationality and enter your e-mail address. Type in the pin code same as the blue letters in the right box. Click the orange buttton to go on. As a foreigner, we suggest clicking the tab circled in green to use e-mail to register. If registering with your phone number, it's possible that your overseas phone can't receive the pin code, which is a necessary step. Then you'll fill out this page: 

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4. Next comes a page requiring you to bind your Alipay account with your cellphone. Click the tab circled in red to use your phone number in China's mainland.

5.Type in your phone number and then click the tab below to get a mobile phone text message from 95188 containing a 6 digital pin code later.

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6. Then fill out the code and click “Next Step”button circled in red to continue.

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7. Now, you will receive an e-mail from Alipay.com. Click the orange button to continue.

8. You will be linked to the next page, which requires you to fill out your personal information as below:
• Create and confirm your login password.
• Create and confirm your payment password. It's a six number pin that you will use every time you check out.
• Set your security question and answer.
• List your country.
• Enter the name on your passport, first and middle in the first box, last name in the second.
• Select your gender.
• Choose passport as your type of ID.
• Enter your passport number.
• Choose your“occupation.”
• Enter your local address.
• Click the orange button.Click the orange button to continue, then you will be linked to the next page, which requires you to fill out your personal information

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9. You have your own Alipay account. Congratulations!

Now, let us enter your account and move on to step 2!

Step 2 Link a card

10. After logging in with your Alipay account, you need to link it to a bank card. Here is a list of banks that Alipay will accept for foreigners: Bank of China, China Citic Bank, China Guangfa Bank (CGB), China Merchant's Bank, China Minsheng Bank, Everbright Bank, Hangzhou Bank, Industrial Bank, Industrial & Commercial Bank of China (ICBC), Pingan Bank, Postal Savings Bank of China (PSBC) and Shanghai Pudong Development Bank (SPD).

11. Make sure your bank card is listed above. Then, click the “Add a bank card” marked in the red circle to continue:

12. You will see this page. First, choose the issuing bank of your card. Then, you need to select your card type, whether it is a credit card or debit card. Click the orange button to move on.

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13. Double check your bank information and then type in the pin code that you received on your phone. Click the orange button to continue.

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Success!

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Step 3 Use Alipay for online shopping

Now the real fun part begins. You can use your Alipay to do online shopping at the first attempt: Let us try to buy some things from www.idealshanghai.com here! Take this “Live in Shanghai Guide 2015” for example,Click the “Add to Cart” to move on to the next step.


Double check the price and quantity and then click "Proceed to Checkout":


Choose “Alipay“ as the payment option and click the “Continue” button:

Then your order is submitted successfully, next, “click to pay now”:


Choose the card that you linked to your account, then click the orange button to finish, then click the orange button:


Success!

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Step 4: Use Alipay for Everything

Now,you can also download the Alipay Wallet 支付宝钱包 app on your phone to see what else it can do. There is a yellow icon for scanning bars and QR codes on the home screen, and a blue icon with your QR code. To pay at Family Mart, they scan your QR code and the transaction is done in seconds.

To pay utility bills, scroll to the second half and click on the utility you want to pay on the app homepage. Make sure it's to the right utility company while confirming.

The above are just a few options. There is much more you can do with Alipay. Once you have Alipay, you will experience a whole new level of convenience.

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