How to use Alipay in Malaysia?Step-by-step guide - 2024

Claire Millard
Minami Ishii
Last updated
29 April 2024

Maybe you’ve seen the logos online and instores, and you’re wondering: what is Alipay and what is Alipay plus? Alipay is a super popular ewallet and digital financial services platform owned by Ant Group, which extends some services to Alipay Malaysia users. You can use Alipay to pay in stores and online, at home and abroad.

In this article we will explore Alipay’s features, its advantages and disadvantages, and we’ll show you how to send money to Alipay users through other providers available in China, like Wise.

Go to Wise

Table of contents:

What is Alipay?

Alipay is a digital payment platform which is huge in Chain, and is increasingly being used across Malaysia and the broader Southeast Asia region.

Alipay offers e-wallet services, online shopping, bill pay and ways to send and receive money conveniently. As Alipay is a China-based provider, not all services are available as yet here. You can’t send payments person to person directly from Alipay for example, or access Alipay’s wealth management tools. However, you can get many online and digital services already - plus, in Malaysia, Alipay is accepted by close to 2 million DuitNow QR code retailers, making this a simple way to pay when you’re shopping in person too.

What is Alipay+?

As well as Alipay, you may also hear references to Alipay+. These are not actually both the same thing. While Alipay is an ewallet, Alipay+ works with payment service providers to allow merchants to take payments easily and using multiple different payment methods. If you’re using Alipay to make a cross border payment, the chances are that the technology that’s supporting it is from Alipay+, in partnership with local payment service providers wherever you happen to be.

How to use Alipay in Malaysia?

In Malaysia, you can use Alipay for making online, in app and in person payments. If you’re using a Malaysian bank card to register with Alipay you usually can’t send direct person to person payments or access other Alipay financial services. However, as some third party providers are integrated with Alipay, we’ve got some ideas about how to make payments to others on Alipay coming up a little later.

To use Alipay in Malaysia you need to download the app, enter your country and phone number and link a bank card. Major networks like Visa, Mastercard, JCB, Diners Club and Discover are all accepted.

How to top-up Alipay in Malaysia

To use Alipay in Malaysia you’ll first need to link an eligible payment card. Here’s how to link a card and top up Alipay in Malaysia:

  • Open the Alipay app and head to the settings page

  • Look for the Bank cards button and select the add more option

  • Follow the onscreen prompts to enter your card data

  • You can then top up your account from your linked card

How to pay with Alipay

The Alipay eWallet offers both online and in-store purchases to customers, giving you the flexibility to pay as you prefer.

Pay online with Alipay

Alipay is widely accepted for online payments, particularly in stores like TaoBao and others which are popular with Chinese customers. Look out for the Alipay logo at the checkout, and tap it if you’d like to use Alipay to fund your payment. All you’ll need to do is follow the prompts, to select the linked card you want to use, and confirm the purchase.

Pay in-store with Alipay 

In Malaysia close to 2 million merchants let you use Alipay to pay in person through DuitNow QR codes. Just scan the code when you see it at the checkout to complete your payment seamlessly.

How to use Touch ‘n go (TNG) with Alipay?

Touch n’ go is a very popular e-wallet in Malaysia, and has relatively recently teamed up with Alipay to offer additional services. Because Alipay and Touch n’ go have partnered up, you can now use your TNG wallet when you see the Alipay symbol displayed to make a QR payment.

That’s really handy if you’re headed to mainland China for example, as wallet payments are pretty common, and this means you don’t need to set up Alipay independently. Just use your TNG ewallet to make payments instead, with the Alipay exchange rate for currency conversion.

Can I use Alipay without a Chinese bank account?

You can use Alipay - or Alipay+ - with an international debit or credit card, which means you don’t need a Chinese bank account to get started. Bear in mind that you’ll need to register with Alipay by providing ID for verification, so have your passport or similar documents on hand when you download the app.

Can I transfer money from Malaysia to China with Alipay? 

If you’ve linked an international bank card to Alipay you can’t use the service to make international transfers - that means you can’t use Alipay to send money from Malaysia to China directly. However, there are solutions to use Alipay from Malaysia to China. If you want to have your payment land in a Chinese Alipay account you can use a third party provider like Wise, which will pass the CNY transfer on to your recipient quickly and with low fees.

Transfer money with Wise

How to transfer money from China to Alipay in Malaysia? 

It may be possible to send money from China to Malaysia using Alipay, but whether or not this service is available depends on the status of the sender, their Alipay account and other factors. If you’re wondering how to transfer money to Alipay in Malaysia you’ll have to have the sender check within their Alipay app, to see if the global remittance function is enabled. Generally this may be an option for mainland Chinese citizens, but not for expats, tourists and many other Alipay users.

If you’re expecting a payment from an expat in China, or anyone else who can’t easily send money from China to Alipay in Malaysia, it’s worth telling the sender that they can use Wise to send money abroad. If the person sending you money is resident in China there are a few restrictions on using Wise due to financial regulations. You’ll be able to use Wise in China if:

1. You are a non-mainland Chinese individual (this includes people from Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Macau)

2. You have earned and paid tax on a salary in mainland China after January 2019

If you have any questions about using Wise in China, you’ll always be able to contact the Wise customer service team in the Wise app through the chat function, to get help and advice.

Go to Wise

Alternatives to Alipay

Malaysian citizens and residents may not be able to get all the features available on Alipay - so if you’re looking to explore your options, check out these alternatives.


If you’re looking for easy ways to make payments overseas, and to shop online, Wise may be a low cost and flexible option. You can register a Wise account online or in app and hold a balance in any of 40+ currencies. Get a Wise card for online and in person spending, and whenever you need currency conversion you get the mid-market exchange rate with low, transparent fees. You can also use Wise to send money from your bank in Malaysia for deposit to an Alipay account in CNY, in China.

Go to Wise


WorldRemit has some very flexible options for making digital payments overseas, including sending money to a bank account, for cash collection, to mobile money accounts or for airtime top up. This can make it a good alternative to Alipay if sending money abroad is your primary requirement.

Go to WorldRemit


BigPay is a well known and popular local ewallet and card, but did you know you can also use your BigPay balance to send international transfers to a range of countries? Use the BigPay ewallet to pay online and in person, and then consider using the remittance service if you need to send money from Malaysia to someone in an eligible destination country - including China.

How does Alipay work?

For Malaysian users, you’ll be able to use Alipay once you’ve downloaded the app, registered an account and linked a bank card. You may be asked to verify your identity using a local ID as part of the registration process, and before you can use Alipay to make purchases. Once you have an active Alipay account you can scan and pay using DuitNow QRs in Malaysia, or anywhere else you see the Alipay logo in China and in the region. You can also use your account for online shopping - just look out for the logo when you checkout.

Alipay fees

The Alipay fees you need to pay can vary depending on factors including the type of bank card you add. If you’re using an international bank card - so one issued outside of China - there are usually no additional Alipay fees when you spend. However, bear in mind that any charges linked to the card you’re using for payment will still apply. Read the terms and conditions carefully to see the range of fees that may apply for your specific Alipay account.

Advantages and disadvantages of Alipay

Alipay is a popular ewallet and payment service, but it’s not right for everyone. If you’re still not sure, here are a few more pointers to help you decide if it’s for you.


  • Pay with QR in Malaysia and when you travel

  • Usually no extra Alipay fees when you spend

  • Use Alipay to checkout online conveniently


  • Not all features are available to Malaysian users

  • Some fees will still apply - including underlying card fees

If Alipay doesn't suit your specific needs, or if you just want to compare your options more carefully - take a look at Wise. Wise offers both international payments, and account services including a card you can use for in person and online payments, as well as withdrawals. Fees are low and transparent and you’ll get the mid-market rate for currency conversion, too.

Go to Wise

Alipay personal account opening procedure

Here’s an overview of the Alipay account opening process - you’re guided throughout by on screen prompts, making the whole thing fairly straightforward:

  • Click Sign up, and enter your Malaysian phone number

  • Enter the SMS verification code

  • Choose the region you’re in - International

  • Click on Accounts and security, then Real name verification

  • When prompted, click the Verify now option

  • Enter your passport information, and get verified

  • Once this is done, navigate back to Verification centre

  • Follow the steps to upload a photo of your passport

How do I get verified on Alipay?

To get verified on Alipay you’ll usually need to verify your Malaysian passport - scan the chip in your passport first, and then follow the prompts to scan your face. The verification tool checks your image matches that in your passport, and you’re then prompted to upload an image of the passport for the records.

How to receive money with Alipay

If someone in China is eligible to send you money to Alipay, you won’t need to do anything other than make sure they have your Alipay details. The money will be deposited to your Alipay account directly.

What details do I need to give to the sender

If someone wants to send you money with Alipay all they need is your address and Alipay ID. This is usually the phone number you used when you registered.

How to send money to Alipay recipients with Wise

With Wise, you can send CNY to Alipay users. All you need is the recipient’s name and their Alipay ID to complete the transaction. Your recipient in China can also receive money through Alipay free of charge when the sender uses Wise to transfer the funds.

Send money with Wise

Alipay mobile app

The Alipay app is highly rated and has a huge user base. It’s regularly updated for security. Check out the Alipay Android app on Google Play or the Alipay iOS app on the App Store.

Can you use Alipay without a bank?

You’ll need a debit or credit card to use Alipay, so you need either a bank account or an account from a specialist non-bank provider which issues eligible debit cards.

Is Alipay safe?

Yes. Alipay is part of huge financial service provider, Ant Group. It’s well regulated and has been built with security in mind. This means it’s safe to use as long as you take normal common sense precautions to secure your own account.


Alipay is a super popular Chinese ewallet and financial service provider. Not all of the services available to Chinese citizens are available if you’re in Malaysia, but the good news is that you can download Alipay and link a Malaysian bank card to make QR payments at home and abroad, and to shop online.

Because Alipay doesn’t offer all its services here just yet, you might also want to check out alternatives. If you need ways to send money overseas - including to Alipay users in China - take a look at Wise. You can send money to 160+ countries with the mid-market rate, and get a debit card for convenient online and in person shopping.

Go to Wise

HSBC international bank transfer FAQs

How do I use Alipay for the first time?

You’ll need to download the Alipay app, register an account and link a Malaysian bank card before you can use Alipay. You may also need to complete a verification step using your passport.

Can you use Alipay without a Chinese bank?

Yes. You can add a bank debit or credit card from Malaysia to your Alipay account, and pay that way, if you don’t have a Chinese bank account.

What are the conditions to register an Alipay account?

You can register an Alipay account in Malaysia with a bank card and local phone number - but you may not be able to access the full suite of services available to Chinese Alipay users.

How can I pay with Alipay?

To use Alipay, link a Malaysian bank card to the app, to make QR payments at home and abroad, and to shop online.