» Work+Money » Banking »

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:


  1. 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.
  2. 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. 
  3. 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. 
  4. 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





Similar Posts:

112 Responses to How can foreign users verify their Alipay account?

  • hello, i succeed in making a alipay account , i linked it to my rechargeable credit card, then i order and paid (the transaction went smooth) but after 3 days of payment (i saw that the money were taken from my credit c.) alypay says this: (translation with google translator) : now you have to pay alipay …this is the original message:

    当前订单状态: 您已付款到支付宝,等待卖家发货; 您可以通过阿里旺旺联系卖家确认发货时间
    付款24小时后如果卖家一直不发货,您可以联系卖家或 提醒卖家发货
    如果卖家存在违背发货时间承诺的情况(什么是违背发货时间承诺),您也不想再要货物,您可以 申请退款 查看退款流程和规则

    the fact is that have already paid and the process is stuck here, can you please tell me what’s wrong ? thank you

  • hi Dr,, my alpay stop working
    i get this message

    and i did Verification and i got Amount of Transfer Money ,,,will check your application within two days
    but the last step is fild what i can do

  • So I’ve learned that you can set up an Alipay account in English. Do I need a debit card starting on no 68?
    I have Bank of China

  • hi, can i change the name in the alipay account ?, still it;s not verified
    i want to change another name and then verify the account

  • Hi. Am I able to register for alipay with a bank of China account set up in Australia?

  • I want to make Ali Pay account but my country Pakistan is listed. what should I do? :(

  • I need to redgester my Alipay Account.

  • Hi. I am working in China and linked my account initially to my UK credit card. Now it is asking me to do the verification but my Chinese bank card is China construction bank as that is the bank my employer helped me open when I arrived and that doesn’t appear in the list… Please don’t tell me I have to open another account with another bank… I’m pretty new to this but is there another way I can carry on using my Tao bao account and pay some other way? Not sure I can survive without Tao bao now! Ha ha.

  • I am trying to register to Alipay but it just does not seem to happen. The error message is:

    你的银行卡信息认证失败,请更换银行卡重新认证或撤销认证5天后(2015年10月18日)使用原银行卡重新认证, 撤销本次认证。

    What could be the issue? Should I contact SPD Bank or Alipay. I Tried calling Alipay million times – 0571 26888888 but their number seems to be continuously busy. Please help!

    • Hi Sherry. The message reads that you must either change to a different bank card to continue the verification or cancel verification at this time and use the same card to apply again after October 18. The failure to verify the bank card may perhaps be due to the technical issues with Alipay. You could try with the same card again to find out. 

      If the Alipay service line is always busy you could try calling 95188 and, press 1 on the electronic menu, or you could dial the English service number, +86 571 95188. Alternatively you could as a Chinese friend to help you complain online using Alipay’s Cloud Service Center. Here is the entry page for the Cloud Service.

  • Sorry if this has been asked already…

    Expat living in Shanghai. CMB bank account and Chinese mobile number. Registered for Taobao = easy. Alipay, I have someone mistakenly been taken for a Chinese national. How do I unlink this and change to be a foreigner?
    Thanks in advance…


    it worked exactly as described in your tutorial (i am with bank of china).
    BUT: it took SOOOO much longer. i think the whole process took over a month. especially the time to get the 0.xx RMB to my account took like 3 weeks.

    So – don’t worry about time friends! until then you can always prepay / top up your alipay account.

  • Hi,

    Thank you so much for this tutorial.
    I managed to get a message from my bank about a deposit but no SMS from Alipay, so when I go back to the Alipay account it still stuck in the same status as the figure in step 5. what can I do?


  • Is it not possible to use a Taobao account without a chinese bank account? Taobao login sends me to alipay, alipay insists that I verify, and verification requires a bank card.

  • I had the same issue as Carlo. The interface seems to have changed so cannot begin step 1.

  • i like to sell European and American products to Chinese consumers via Taobao and was wondering if that’s possible and also, if indeed an Alipay account is necessary/useful? Thank you very much.

  • I made my account on the basis of id card not on the basis of visa or master card is that okay?
    And secondly i’m from Pakistan and there’s written that Alipay balance functionality is currently unavailable in Pakistan. What does that mean? Reply me asap.

  • i have gone unto step 8, and 9 step is slippery is suppose to sent me little amount of money to my bank of china, its been 5 days i didn’t got yet, do i need to wait or i should call the alipya office and ask them



  • So to register I need to be in china? I can’t register and use it to shop for example on aliexpress (that need it to buy) without being in chine, having a passport, a china visa and an entry proof?

    • Hi Francesca. You don’t actually need to be in China to register for Alipay, but unfortunately you do need to have a visa of some kind. So you could apply for a Tourist Visa and use that to apply for Alipay even if you never actually come to China.

  • Hello. Have been trying to start the process as you describe above with my fluent Chinese friend here but we are unable to locate the option in Step no.2 for “Foreign Users” (外籍). The Alipay interface when I login looks different to the screen grab in Step no.1 [has it and/or layout and/or menu system recently changed].

    Perhaps if you gave the url for where Step. No 2 ‘real name verification’ is on Alipay it might help us.

    BTW your website is very impressive, thank you + am happy to endorse it on social media.


  • I have gone through the verification sign up 2 times now and received this error both times. I assume it is the name not matching the bank account even though I checked the BOC website to verify the name is the same as I put down. I have tried every variation of first last name, last first, first middle last, last first middle, and none of them go with the back account according to alipay…

    你的银行卡信息认证失败,请更换银行卡重新认证或撤销认证6天后(2015年08月21日)使用原银行卡重新认证, 撤销本次认证。

    • I got it figured out. I went to the BOC website and looked at the exact way they had spelled my wife’s name and input it. The case matters on the name as BOC had my wife’s name all in caps.

  • hello

    i keep getting an error “ID Number is 18 digits, letters…”

    please help!?

  • I have tried a million times to apply and this always shows up:

    抱歉,暂时无法操作。 失败原因 系统出错啦。

    • Hi Amanda, the reads: “There is something wrong with the system so we can’t process your request at the moment.” It is caused by the website’s system. You will have to try again at a later time; if this problem keeps appearing, try emptying your browser’s cache (and cookies, if just the cache doesn’t work).

      • hey
        I’ve tried many times but i keep getting this msg

        help plz

    • I ran into the same error message with my first (Bank of China) card, switched to a ICBC card and it worked. It will likely have to do with the way the bank spells your name vs how AliPay is spelling it

  • Hi! I`ve got a problem with finding an ABC bank name in the blank when I do verification . There is not 中国农业银行 at the list, therefore it`s not possible to finish registration. Also I tried to contact their customer service, using chinese…but they didn`t get me. What can I do? Thanks.

    • Hi Lerysave. ABC should definitely be appearing in your the scroll-down list. As Alipay doesn’t offer English language customer service, it is better to find a Chinese friend to help you with the registration and verification, as they will have a better idea of figuring out your exact problem. Good luck!

  • It is not possible to select China Guangfa Bank (CGB) from the drop-down list. So it is not possible to validate the account. Any hints?

    • Hi Max, Alipay does support China Guangfa Bank debit card, so there must be a problem at your end. Make sure your browser is fully up-to-date, and try clearing the cache and all cookies (you should be able to do this in your browser’s security or history options) and then reload the Alipay pages. Remember that you will have to re-enter all of your passwords if you clear your cookies. Alternatively, try another browser to proceed.

      If you still have the problem, you could contact Alipay customer service

  • Hi, I would like to know how china user can transfer payment to my local bank account? (Malaysia)
    I’m running a online business and do i need to show my partner ID at my website?

    Thank you,

  • Hi,

    I have followed all the steps, used my passport, my residence permit, my Bank of China debit card, the system accepts all the information, but in the last step, when I click submit I get a message error like this one:


    Any idea how to proceed? If I click “选择其他认证方式” I just get redirected to the initial website for verification.

    Thanks a lot!

    • Hi Jaime. The error message reads “There is something wrong with the system.” You could try another time or use another browser. The website has many users so this system error might occur from time to time. Good luck!

  • I try to verify my bank But everytime its giving my that my bank card cant use thats someone els use But its not.
    I call many time to alipay they dont help me.
    This happen Allt the time and this is not correct
    Please help me out i have try to solve this for 5 months now

    • Hi Sader. We are sorry about the trouble you are having with the verification. We talked to Alipay customer service and they said that they require your Alipay account and bank card number in order to check whether the account is linked with that bank card, or whether the bank card has somehow been linked to another account. So unfortunately you still need to contact Alipay customer service to figure out a solution.

      Another possible reason for this problem is that your bank card number has been leaked and used by another person on Alipay. In this case, you might need ask the bank that issued you the card to give a stamped letter to prove that you are the holder of the card, together with a copy of the account-opening application that you filled in when you opened the account. You can then submit the documents to Alipay’s customer service department and ask them to link the card to your account. However, due to the complexity of the matter and financial security concerns, the bank may not want to give you the letter. 

      If all of that doesn’t work, you could change your bank card to a new one with a new number, and try to link that one to your Alipay account. Good luck!

  • Hi,
    I just want to thank you for the tutorial about how to register at Taobao.
    I went at China Merchants bank to make a new bank account and it was easy, they just asked my passport. I was worry they would ask some more documents.
    It works for me! At first I got a strange message saying (was not possible to confirm your banck info):
    您申请的[支付宝个人认证认证]失败了,失败原因为:支付宝向你的银行账户打款失败,请及时登录支付宝查看打款失败原因并重新操作。 。

    Than I realize that the bank registered my name in different order. Once I rewrite my name same way as the bank registered I passed.
    In a few hours I got an email saying I was approved.
    Thank you so much! Your advice helped me a lot!

  • Hi thank u for help. But at step2 i can not find my country i am from yemen i chose asia but could nt find yemen . Now i am studying at china could u give me soultion for this and thanxxx

    • Hi Khaled. If you are talking about registering an Alipay account, we are sorry to tell you that users from Yemen can’t register Alipay accounts at the moment. Only the citizens of countries you can see in the drop-down menu can register on the site right now.

      We hope that Alipay will open its services to more and more countries in the world over time. If you need Alipay to buy stuff online or make a money transfer, you could talk to a trusted friend to make the transactions for you. We wish you a good stay in China.

  • Hi,
    I’m from Poland(Europe), I don’t have visa and i have never been in China but i need to make a transfer to my friend by Alipay. Is it possible without verification ?

    • Hi Jakub. We are sorry to tell you that it is impossible to make a money transfer without verification. The Alipay service is only available for expats living in or visiting China, as it requires a Chinese visa (of any kind) to activate.

      • Hi James,

        My Chinese friend advised me that my passport and Chinese tourist visa must have a validity of 30days min. in order to get my Alipay and Taobao account verified. Could you please advise if this is true? Thanks

        • Hi Joyce. We contacted Alipay’s customer service department and were told that as long as the passport and visa are still valid, your Alipay and Taobao accounts should be verified without problems. However, it is better if they have a longer validity, as the registration and verification process can take several working days. Good luck!

  • I going on tour in China and wish to apply the Alipay account. If I get L visa for tourist, under the address what should I indicate. Should I put my hometown address or hotel address to get it approve. Thanks

    • Hi George. The address you should put in is the hotel address where you will be staying on the Chinese mainland, or if you are staying with a friend, put their address. Good luck!

  • Hi I registered and got up to the wait of the deposit from alipay but it has been 4days now and I still haven’t received any deposit, have i been rejected? I haven’t gotten any notifications either from them

    • Hi Angela. We would suggest that contact Alipay directly. You can call them on 95188, or you can use the online customer service function here. If you’re not comfortable speaking or writing Chinese, you may want to ask a friend to help translate.

  • My question is about Alipay Wallet. I was able to verify my alipay account without any fuss, however, I’m experiencing problems adding my debit card account to Alipay wallet. I keep getting an error message stating that the name and account number I am entering do not match, but that is not the case. I’ve confirmed with my bank the exact format of my name pertaining to my account. Besides, I used this same account and name for the real-name verification and had no issues. Any idea what the problem could be?

    • Which bank are you with?

      • China Merchants. My Alipay account was successfully verified, but I am unable to add the same debit card account that I used for the verification process to my Alipay wallet. Can’t figure it since I know I have the name and card # correct.

        Sigh…it’s problem some strange little thing…

        • PROBABLY some strange little thing….

          • Hi Jones. Sadly we’re not sure what the problem might be. If you’ve tried every combination of your name (reverse order with family name first, family name first but other names in correct order, first and middle names without spaces etc) and ways of typing (all capitals, no capitals, no spaces etc), the only thing we can suggest you do is contact Alipay directly. You can contact them on 95188, or you can use the online customer service function here. If you’re not very comfortable speaking or writing Chinese, you may want to ask a friend to help translate.

        • Hi Jones,

          I encountered the same problem. I successfully added an ABC card when doing the first Taobao shopping. CMB card didn’t work b/c they only allow Chinese ID numbers when adding during the purchasing process.

          I eventually wanted to verify my account and used the CMB card to be on the safe side b/c my name is quite long. Verification is still ongoing (they had some problems with my documents, so this time I uploaded passport and visa as suggested in another instruction) and in the meantime, I wanted to add the CMB card for payments. When using the usual “Add card” function, it doesn’t work, because my ID number is not Chinese. The same way, I can’t connect my ABC card to WeChat wallet. I feel that for foreigners, some bank cards work with some payments tools and some doesn’t. That’s it. Why CMB works for verification but not for payment – who know’s.

          Wish y’all the best luck with this sometimes tricky but convenient tool!


          • Update: I guess it was the entry stamp on the visa scan that was missing the first time, but maybe the passport was also helpful; in many other instructions I read you should submit the passport, not residence permit.

            Anyway, AFTER the account was verified, I was able to add my CMB debit card, they had my passport number already entered in the form, no Chinese ID required. Strangely enough, my added ABC debit card was gone… No idea what actually happened here, but it is possible to add the CMB card using the online interface (not the app, that’s only for credit cards).

            Good luck!

  • My taobao was working fine up until a few days ago when suddenly after login, it wanted me to verify my account (开通账户).
    After keying in my id, the screen went to 通过 实名认证 and after clicking on the verify button, I was bought to the Alipay login page.
    After logging in, it went to the 实名认证 page where I keyed in my real name and id number…but it only allow China id number which has 18 numbers/letters.
    Now I can’t even login to Taobao at all and when I went to the help section to try to get an answer, it keep prompting me to log in!
    I am stuck in a chicken-and-egg situation and I can’t even find an email address to write to helpdesk…
    Can you give me some advice please?

    • Hi Sheila. The best thing you can do, we think, is to contact Taobao directly yourself. You can call +852 2215-5300 for the foreign-language service, or +86 0571-8815-8198 for the Chinese-speaking service. As you may have noticed, however, the foreign-language number is in Hong Kong, so if you are not comfortable speaking and listening in Chinese and cannot or do not want to call Hong Kong, you may wish to get a Chinese-speaking friend to help you out. Good luck!

  • Hi there,

    Followed your guide (which helped a lot) and managed to get past the ‘less than 1 yuan bank account verification’ stage, however my photos of my passport were rejected as I apparently need another valid ID: 您申请的[支付宝个人认证认证]失败了,失败原因为:缺少其他有效证件 。

    I’m on a Z work visa, have a residence permit and made sure the photos were in colour and showed all of the passport, including stamps.

    Any help?


    • Hi Nathan. Unfortunately, we have no idea what the problem is here – it’s bizarre! The only thing we can suggest you do is contact Alipay directly. You can contact them on 95188 – alternatively you can use the online customer service function here. You will probably need to have a Chinese-speaking friend with you to help translate. Good luck sorting out your problem!

  • Hi,
    I like to seek advice if BOC bank can tag to Alipay. I a foreign, which bank is easier to apply for it to link with Alipay. Thanks

    • So long as your name doesn’t have a “middle dot” in it (it looks like this: ·) then Bank of China should be fine. However, you should be registered with a branch of Bank of China based on the Chinese mainland, not a Bank of China based anywhere else.

  • Hello,
    i have done until the 6th steps. and then alipay email me this


    您申请的[支付宝个人认证认证]失败了,失败原因为:支付宝向你的银行账户打款失败,请及时登录支付宝查看打款失败原因并重新操作。 。


    which means i can’t link my bank account (ICBC) and my alipay. and i strongly sure i have submitted the right information.
    is there any way to solve this?

    • Hi Carol. That just seems to be a generic error message, asking you to log in to Alipay to find out the exact reason. We’d suggest you contact Alipay directly to find out what the problem is.

  • Hi there . I want to change my credit..

  • Hi there,

    Got the bank account set up and verified. Now i’m stuck on the photo upload. They have rejected it 3 times. I’m not sure what i’m doing wrong.
    Based on the video guide listed below … which i don’t really understand. At around the 1 minute mark it indicates that the elbows must be showing? Also since I’m Hong kong resident, do i take a photo of my Hong kong ID or my china visa card.


    Once again thank you for your guide.

    • Hi Stanley. Yes, if you’re opening up a Taobao store then it is necessary for you to take a photo of yourself holding your Hong Kong ID card. The photo must show the whole of your arms, the HK ID card must be clear, and the name and ID card number must be visible. As well as this, your head and the ID card must be both be in focus and your face should not be blocked by the card.

      Photos manipulated by Photoshop or other image editing software will not be accepted.

      Good luck!

  • Hello again! I followed the instructions about Merchants Bank and it worked!
    After that, I had to wait for 2 days for the final audit from Alipay personel, but unfortunately they rejected my application.
    I uploaded a passport photo and a tourist visa with an entry stamp (following the samples from alipay website). I applied 2 more times, shooting better pics of my documents, but they kept rejecting my applications. I think the problem is my tourist visa. They are strict. Anybody facing the same problem with me, don’t be frustrated. You may talk to the stuff from the shop that you wanna buy and just make a bank transfer to the bank account of them. I know that this is not the safest thing to do, so just shop from shops with good recommendations. Anyway, thanks again for this really useful guide and keep on the good work!

  • I just want to know I can stop my Alipay account. I want to change my credit ..

    • Hi Tabthao. We’re not sure what you mean. Do you want to delete your Alipay account? If so, you can find out how in this article. Or do you just want to change your credit card?

  • May I ask you about the characters: You said if it is more than 20 characters, we should only use Merchant’s bank. I am more than 20 characters and I applied with an account in ICBC. Have you checked for sure that I will have a problem with this specific bank? I am a little anxious about my application…

    • Hi Nick. Sorry, we are afraid that you will have problems when applying for an Alipay account with an ICBC bank card. If a name has more than 20 characters, Alipay can only verify bank accounts from China Merchants’ Bank. But don’t worry too much – it is quite easy to open a new account at China Merchants Bank. 

    • Hi Nick. Generally your account will be approved or denied within two working days. However, since there are many users applying for verification every day, it may take a little bit longer sometimes. If you are the same Nick who wrote in asking about having a name with more than 20 characters and an ICBC bank account, then this may also be an issue and you may need to apply for a China Merchants Bank account before you can use Alipay.

  • Hi and thanks for your guide. Everything went perfect, but the didn’t charge me any amount in my account since 3 working days, so I cannot verify my alipay account. Does anybody have the same experience? It should have been 1-2 days max.

  • So in this case how can I delete my alipay account completely? Since it didn’t work for my business….

  • Hi. I went to the post office and charged some money to my account (did it before) but this time they asked for my verification. I followed your steps but a message came up today saying:

    “Your bank card information authentication fails, replace the bank card recertification or revoke certification for 8 days (May 29, 2015) using the original bank card recertification, revoke this certification .”

    I believe I put in a different name for my bank account (that wasn’t clear)

    I tried to revoke but it asks for the “paid password” – I click that and it directs me to install a program – which I did – but nothing happens.

    I just want to re apply or get my money back from the post office. ANy suggestions? thank you.

    • Hi RYan. We are not sure what exactly this problem might be, or how to solve it. The best suggestion we can give you is to contact your bank and Alipay and explain your problem to them. We hope they are able to provide you with practical solutions.

  • Im staying at Berlin but I would to have an alipay account coz my client (China clients, who using only alipay for oversea shopping) would like to transfer money to me but I don’t have any entry proof(as I’m no traveling to China at all). Can I still apply and use this alipay? I’m having the Maestro card from Germany, will it be help?
    Thanks for your help.

    • Hi Celine. Unfortunately, it is not possible to sign up to Alipay without a Chinese mainland visa or a Chinese mainland bank account. They should be able to use their banks to make regular bank transfers, however. We wish you the best of luck with your business!

  • I’m stuck on the email verification step.. it’s not giving me an option to use passport (just Chinese ID).

    Screen shot here: http://tinypic.com/r/2wegh9e/8

    Any ideas?

    • Hi David. Did you follow step 2 on our guide, above? There’s a specific link to click that should take you to the foreign user login page – this will allow you to use your passport to verify your account rather than a Chinese ID card.

  • Hello. I’ve made 5th payment during the months with visa card via alipay yesterday. First 4 were succesfull. Alipay sent mу a message that they need 24 hours to verify last payment it and after sent me SMS that transaction was declined and money will be refunded. No I can’t sing in on the website, they write me :友情提示 该账户目前不允许登录,请联系支付宝客服: 95188″ – contact support service but I dont speak chineese and cant find any e-mail adress… What should I do?

    • Hi Maria. Unfortunately, as far as we can see the only thing to do is to get a Chinese-speaking friend to call on your behalf and translate for you. There is no other contact method that we can find. Good luck!

  • Hi there,

    Thank you for your guide. I have now set up taobao and alipay accounts. I wish to sell products on taobao and receive money via alipay. Do I have to open a bank account in China, or do you know if a Bank of China account from Australia will work? I’ve asked the bank and they don’t know. I have a Hong Kong ID card, will this also be sufficient for Alipay?
    Thank you very much

    • Hi Stanley. Both foreigners and Hong Kong ID Card owners can open up Taobao stores, but only Chinese mainland bank accounts can be used with Alipay. Good luck with your business plans!

      • Thank you fro you reply. You say China Mainland bank account, so is a Bank of China account open in Hong Kong sufficient? Or does the account have to be open in mainland China? Thank you once again.

        • Sorry, Hong Kong bank accounts don’t count as Chinese mainland bank accounts, so no – you won’t be able to use it. 

  • Hello Mates,

    I have done everything and got verified but when i try to use the overseas remittance service it shows that a chinese ID is required
    (that’s what i understand from the photo) any advice?


  • Hi!
    I think I have the same problem as Mikel a couple of posts before mine. I’m a student here in Beijing, today I went to China Merchant’s Bank to open online banking. I came back home trying to connect the new card to Alipay since I want to buy some clothes on TaoBao, I followed your verification procedure for foreigners until the ’2 days waiting’ for approval, and I thank you for this guide. My question is, if I didn’t follow the guide you explained and directly tried to add a Bank card on my Alipay profile using the “+ 添加银行卡” button, then yes I could have only registered my China Merchant’s Bank card with a chinese ID, but are you sure that once and IF, my account get verified in these two days, I really won’t be anymore asked for a Chinese ID but my card will be automatically registrated and I will be able to procede with payments?

    • Hi Max. Yes, once you get verified with Alipay you should have no problem using both Alipay and Taobao.

  • Hello, thank you for the guide. My name has more than 20 letters and i have a CCB card but when i get to the step of choosing which bank I have to input the card number CCB does not appear on the list. I asked customer service and they then linked a page telling me that CCB is not able to be used by foreigners on alipay.

    • Hi Steph. Our apologies – it looks like since the article went up, the rules about China Construction Bank cards changed, and now they can no longer be used by foreigners in Alipay. We have amended the article to reflect this.

  • Hi,

    I did all this before and have an verified aaccount, however, when trying to link my card to the account to make payments, I can’t if don’t have a chinese ID. Same for transferring money to my alipay account, either it asks for a chinese ID or it will give me a system error (system too busy at the time). Anyone managed to do this? Thanks!

    • Hi Mikel. If you have encountered this problem then you have probably tried to verify your account using the page reserved for mainland Chinese citizens. There is a special verification entry process for foreign users on Alipay, which you can find in step two of the article above. When you verify using this other page, you will be asked put in your passport number instead of a Chinese ID card number, and your Chinese bank account will be linked automatically when you finish the verification.

      Once that process is complete, you can make payment right away and there will be no more requests fro for Chinese ID Cards. 

  • Hi James, thank you for this. I have an L Visa, and you say this will work, but I don’t have a residence permit. So do I just take a picture of the visa and my entry stamps?


  • Hi,

    My name has more than 20 characters. I am with BOC, how can I verify my account?

    • Hi Rose. Unfortunately, you will not be able to open an Alipay account with a Bank of China account – you will need to open an account with China Merchants Bank or China Construction Bank if you wish to use Alipay.

      EDIT: Since this reply was posted, the rules were changed; China Construction Bank can no longer be used by foreigners on Alipay.

      • Hello…

        Thanks very much for helping me out here, this page is really helpful!! I’m currently holding foreign passport, I have the tourist visa to China and I’ve set up a bank account (CCB) with a debit card, although I did pass the step 1 with the phone number and the passport info, I’m stuck on the 1.2 because I don’t see CCB bank anywhere… Was it because I’m using foreigner ID to verify the name? I’m really confused because I really want to verify my name and I couldn’t top up my account directly from my debit card without verify alipay account… I would also like to know about the top up steps /where to get the top up cards.. because I couldn’t do it online…

        Thanks again!

        • Hi Jason. Unfortunately, China Construction Bank (if this is what you mean by CCB – we assume it does) no longer supports Alipay for foreign users. See the article for other banks that do support foreign Alipay users – but do check when opening an account with them that they will offer the Alipay services you need, as things can change in China without notice.

  • Thank you very much. This article was very helpful. I finally have been able to register for alipay. Being trying to do that for at least a year. Your tutorial is much appriciated.

  • Hi James.
    How are ya?
    I live in the USA, and would like to sign up with an AliPay account. Is this possible?
    //my browser got stuck, so if you see this twice pls forgive:)

    • Hi Mark. Unfortunately, you must live in, or visit, China to verify your Alipay account, as it requires a Chinese visa (of any kind including an L Visa, aka the Travel Visa) to activate. It is also only compatible with Chinese bank accounts. Sorry!

  • Hi, I failed once already to register due to my bank account. I’m a bank of China user.
    Could you elaborate on the “Don’t use debit cards issued by Bank of China if your name contains a dot”
    Thank you and very good article!

    • Hi Guillaume. Yes, that wasn’t clearly worded – we’ve now fixed it up to make it more clear – we were talking about what is known as a interpunct, interpoint, middle dot or centered dot. Basically, this: · .

      If your name does not have one of these in it, then you may need to try some other tricks. The issue that people seem to hit is that the name needs to be entered identically to how your bank has it stored on their system, and sometimes people working at banks make typos and other errors. Try entering your name all in capitals, all in lower case, with and without your middle names, with and without spaces, and even backwards (surname first, then first name and middle names). Having an apostrophe in your name (as in the name O’Neill) can also cause problems due to the coding used in certain bank databases.

      If none of those options work, go to your bank and ask them to show you how your name is actually inputted in their computer. Take your passport, as they probably won’t let you see or change your account without it. Another issue is that if your name is more than 20 letters long, you can only verify using cards supplied by China Merchants Bank and China Construction Bank.

      You could try with a bank card issued by another bank that support the verification. However, you failed the registration perhaps not due to your name. Make sure you verify through the section dedicated to foreigners (see point 2, above), not the one for mainland Chinese or Chinese from Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan.

      EDIT: Since this reply was posted, the rules were changed; China Construction Bank can no longer be used by foreigners on Alipay.

  • Hello.
    I m wondering how to invest through alipay as it seems to be one of the functions available for alipay subscribers.
    Have you guys covered this topic?


    • Hi Ron. We’ve taken a look at investing via WeChat and it seems that at present this option is not available for foreigners – it can only be used by Chinese mainland residents who sign up with their real-life names and have a Chinese ID card. As One-Stop is dedicated to helping foreign users make the most of life in China, we’re sorry to say that we won’t be covering this topic unless the function is made available to foreigners. Thanks for writing in, though, and keep your eyes on One-Stop in the future – if we can write about it in times to come then we certainly will!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>