CASINO

Macau authorities vow to monitor Alipay

TAGs: Alipay, Lionel Leong, Macau, unionpay

Macau government has promised not to go easy on Alipay.

Macau authorities vow to monitor AlipayMacau Secretary for Economy and Finance Lionel Leong told TDM Macau that he considers Alipay’s collaboration with the government beneficial for the development of domestic e-commerce. However, it does not mean that that the authorities will go easy on the Chinese payment service as Leong vowed to monitor its transactions to ensure legal money inflow.

The Monetary Authority of Macau (AMCM) confirmed the legality of Alipay use in Macau, through a partnership with a locally authorized institution. Since the launch in July, concerns had emerged over its possible expansion into casinos; but Leong noted that as of now, no casino had been found to be accepting payments made through the service.

This is in line with Union Gaming analyst Grant Govertsen’s forecast when it ruled out the possibility of casinos’ involvement with Alipay due to “potential legal ramifications.” But when it comes to Alipay’s longer-term implications for the gaming industry, Govertsen is bullish by mass-market customers using it as an alternative or in addition to UnionPay to getting cash.

Alipay Express can approve up to 5,000 yuan ($806) per transaction and a total of 50,000 yuan per month compared to China’s Union Pay, whose usage is now restricted in Macau because of money laundering issues.

The Macau government has limited overseas cash withdrawals from China’s Union Pay service to a total of 50,000 yuan ($10,800) for the period between October 1 and December 31. Starting January 2016, there will be an annual limit of 100,000 yuan ($21,800).

Beijing continue to monitor UnionPay, real time

Beijing continues its crack down on use of UnionPay.

AMCM announced on Friday that it would implement a real-time monitoring system for payments made via China UnionPay Co Ltd. bank cards.

The new round of crackdown includes an initial phase, which will be implemented on high-risk merchants near casinos, most of which are jeweler and watches merchants, and will be extended to other high-risk merchants selling high-value products in the second phase.

The news followed the UnionPay’s memo ordering a clampdown on illegally modified point of sale (POS) units, which involves registration and audits of such devices.

“The real time monitoring system is designed with the aim to verify the genuine relationship between card holder and the bank card in the process of acquiring goods or services in order to protect the lawful rights and interests of cardholders, merchants and banks,” said AMCM in a statement.

The crackdown comes amid concern about widespread abuse of UnionPay’s card payment system as a way of dodging China’s stringent currency controls. They have been widely used by the mass and premium mass market as a way of accessing cash through Macau’s pawnshops.

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