Alipay, a Chinese payments platform operated by Ant Financial Services Group, has signed partnerships with several European banks and payment providers to drive expansion in Europe.

The partnerships with French lender BNP Paribas, British banking group Barclays, Italian lender UniCredit, and SIX Payment Services will add an additional 930,000 merchants to Alipay’s European network.

The alliance with BNP Paribas will support Alipay payments through the bank’s merchant network in France and eventually elsewhere in Europe.

The partnership with Barclays will offer Alipay customers digital ways to pay in the UK and elsewhere in Europe, while UniCredit is expected to launch Alipay in Italy in 2017.

Ant Financial senior vice president and Alipay International president Douglas Feagin said: “We are excited to be partnering with leading European financial institutions to enable our users to pay with Alipay in even more locations and scenarios across Europe.

“Our users’ lifestyles are increasingly global, so it’s vital we are able to work with the leading payment providers across the world to bring our trusted and convenient services to Alipay users wherever and whenever they need them.”

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Under the agreement with SIX, Alipay payment service will be integrated into SIX’s payment application to allow merchant clients of SIX to accept Alipay payments.

Alipay Europe head Rita Liu said: “The cooperation with SIX gives Alipay access to a broad merchant base across Europe: potentially Alipay users will be able to pay at 110.000 additional merchants in Switzerland and beyond. As our preferred partner, SIX takes us one step further in becoming a truly globally accepted payment system.”