Do you use Alipay as one of your payment methods in China? Here’s your friendly reminder to authorize and verify yourself before July 1st!
We received a suspicious text message from Alipay’s main number a couple weeks ago:
It’s taken us a couple of weeks dealing with their “support” people trying to get some insight. We’ve been transferred to countless people, hung up on, refused explanations, but I finally think we have some answers. 💪🏽
They’ve assured us that we can still use the payment services to buy things on Taobao using our added debit cards, etc, but we are definitely at risk of losing our current balance.
Here’s a fun old honky tonk country song to cheer you up while you read the rest of this lovely article~
And by the way, this is not just to hassle our foreign friends around. According to a regulation issued by the central bank in December last year, the regulation will go into enforcement on July 1st for everyone’s account.
If a user does not authenticate his/her real name on the platform as required, he/she will not be able to transfer, receive and save money, or pay the bills with their balance through the platform. There will be no exceptions for overseas users.
We have two options:
1. Don’t verify your account and risk losing your balance and the ability to use it, but still have the ability to buy things using your bank or credit card.
The Alipay service rep said that once a user does eventually verify their account, they will get this balance back, but we don’t feel like we can guarantee that. 😛
If you choose this option, we recommend transferring your balance back to your bank account before Friday, July 1, 2016.
2. Verify your dang account!
The Alipay service rep said that to verify your account, users just need to provide different types of information to the real-name system and get themselves classified into three categories based on how much money they’ve been know to transfer annually. It includes filling in a personal information questionnaire, uploading a photo of your passport and bank card, etc. It also differs if you’re from Hong Kong or Taiwan and have those special travel permits.
*For some, it might mean adding an additional bank card…
Login to Alipay and select the notification to “Please verify your Alipay account”…
Next, select the blue text that says “here” to continue on through the delightful verification process…
Complete your profile according to your real-name and ID number on your passport and upload your passport’s photo page (if still needed)…
Verify an additional bank card if needed… (notice we can’t add another card from the same bank we already had registered a debit card)
For some of you, this might mean opening a new second bank account. Fun, right!?
Then you’re all set! For now.
Again, this regulation aims to prevent financial risks and safeguard users’ mobile payments. We expect Wechat Wallet to implement the same requirements soon, too.
Our apologies for the potential added má fan to your next couple days…
Let us know if you have any questions… or you can just try calling Alipay Customer Service at (+86) 571 8502 2088