Alipay Invests RMB 40 million to Make Online Payment Safer

Alipay, the e-payment affiliate of Alibaba Group, will invest RMB 40 million ($6.5 million) to create an online payment security fund that will conduct research into online payment security issues and invest in companies that develop security software.

The fund, which will be created with other partners, will have a particular emphasis on mobile payments as mobile payments industry is still growing fast and requires additional security, said Simon Hu, Chief Risk Officer of Small and Micro Financial Services Group in an Alipay press conference. The fund will invest in companies that are researching defensive software against phishing websites, Trojan horse malware and other malicious online software, Alipay said adding that more details will be released at a later date.

In 2013, Alipay, anti-phishing organizations and browser companies shut down 155,282 phishing websites, accounting for about 44 percent of the total number of phishing websites globally, Alipay said in a press release.

Last month, China's central bank curbed the issuance of online credit cards by Internet companies and suspended the use of QR codes to make payments citing concerns over payment security.

With the mobile payment industry still nascent, Alipay must go to the extra mile to ensure users feel secure in using mobile payments, Hu said. Alipay Wallet, Alipay’s mobile payment application has more than 100 million users.

According to Analysys International, China's mobile-payments market last year grew 800 percent with total transactions hitting RMB 1.30 trillion ($210 billion).