How can foreign users verify their Alipay account?
Alipay is kind of like China’s answer to PayPal, and, if you live in China, just as useful – especially if you want to buy on Taobao. However, if you’re not a Chinese mainland citizen, you’ll need to take some special steps to verify your account – and you’ll need to do it in Chinese too. Remember that this is only available for expats living in or visiting China, as it requires a Chinese visa (of any kind) to activate.
1. Head to www.alipay.com and log in to the Alipay account you created. Click “Account Settings” (账户设置), and then “Basic Information” (基本信息) on the left. Click “Verification” (立即认证) to verify your account.
2. Click “Foreign Users” (外籍) below the yellow bar to verify.
3. Fill in the required information as follows:
- Fill in your details. In the “Your Real Name” section you must put in at least two words or characters. You can use blank spaces and hyphens if you like. It is best to make sure that this matches the name on your Chinese visa exactly.
- Remember that the passport number should be at least eight characters long – if it has fewer numbers than that, you can add a zero on the front. You will also need to upload a scan of your latest Chinese visa (whatever kind it is) using the “Passport Picture” button, and a scan of your residence permit using the “Entry Proof” button.
- Contact number: Give your phone number, with hyphens and plus signs if desired. The number should be no more than 20 characters. If you have one, it’s best to put in a Chinese mainland cell phone number beginning 13, 14, 15, or 18. Phone numbers from Hong Kong, Macao, Taiwan or abroad should have their international code added in front of the number.
- The “Check Code” field is a standard Captcha-style verification device; just type in the colored, distorted letters to the right of the field. If they are too distorted to read, you can click ‘Change the code’ to get a new one.
4. Fill in your debit card information.
Foreigners can use cards issued by Bank of China, China Citic Bank, China Guangfa Bank (CGB), China Merchants Bank, China Minsheng Bank, Everbright Bank, Hangzhou Bank, Industrial Bank, Industrial & Commercial Bank of China (ICBC), Pingan Bank, Postal Savings Bank of China (PSBC) and Shanghai Pudong Development Bank (SPD).
- You need to use a debit card to verify your Alipay account.
- Don’t use debit cards issued by Bank of China if your name contains a “middle dot” (also known as an interpunct, interpoint and centered dot; it looks like this ·). These points are sometimes used in Chinese to signal syllable breaks in transliterated names, so your account may have had one inserted – check your documentation to be sure.
- Don’t use debit cards issued by Agricultural Bank of China if your name contains English letters.
- If your name is longer than 20 alphabet letters (blank spaces included), you can only verify with bank cards issued by China Merchants Bank. Trying to verify with cards from other banks will result in the error message “Sorry, your application can’t be processed at the moment. (抱歉暂时无法操作)”
5. Enter the confirmation page by clicking “Next Step” (下一步).
6.After you submit the verification application, Alipay will transfer a small amount of money (under one yuan) to your bank account. When you get the alert message from Alipay, you should check to see how much has been deposited.
7.Once you have the figure, log in to your Alipay account and click “Apply for Verification” (申请认证), then “Put in the Amount of Transfer Money” (输入打款金额). Input the exact amount of money that Alipay has placed in your bank account (eg 0.0974 yuan).
8.After you have confirmed that the money has been transferred, your account will be moved to a confirmation list, and an Alipay service person will check your application within two days.
9. You can find out if your application has succeeded or failed by logging in to your Alipay account.
10. If your application has failed, there will be an error message explaining why – you may need a Chinese friend to help you translate.
11. If Alipay has approved your verification, you will get the following message:
Useful Chinese words and phrases
|外籍用户||wài jí yòng hù||Foreign users|
|支付宝实名认证||zhī fù bǎo shí míng rèn zhèng||Alipay real-name verification|
|护照号码||hù zhào hào mǎ||Passport number|