Fintech giant Ant Financial and China’s biggest bank have officially launched cooperation in the area of QR code compatibility.
Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) has become the first big state-owned bank in China to enter a QR code compatibility arrangement with Ant Financial, according to a report from Securities Daily.
Under the arrangement clients of Ant Financial and ICBC can use the QR code’s of both to complete payments when using ICBC eLife (工银e生活) or Alipay.
Trials of the cooperative arrangement have already kicked off in the cities of Hangzhou, Chongqing and Guangzhou, and are set to spread to more cities.
The “Fintech Development Plan (2019 – 2021)” (金融科技（FinTech）发展规划（2019-2021）年) released by the Chinese central bank in September 2019 highlighted the compatibility of QR code payments as a key goal.
The Plan called for “driving QR code payment compatibility, researching and formulating compatible barcode payment technology standards, unification of barcode payment coding regulations, establishment of a barcode payment technology system, overcoming the barriers between barcode payment services, and achieve mutual recognition and scanning of the codes of different apps and vendors.”
Bank of Communications has already teamed up with fintech giant Tencent to achieve QR code compatibility, while Bank of Hangzhou has also entered a similar agreement with NetsUnion.