The Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI) has entered into a collaboration with Alipay+ to expand its payment services.

The collaboration will add BPI as a payment option at Alipay+-supported regional and global online merchants. This will enable the lender’s digital banking customers to make international purchases from these merchants using their familiar payment methods.

The move comes as the Covid-19 pandemic accelerated the digitalisation of payments across the globe.

BPI chief digital officer Noel Santiago said: “The pandemic has rapidly accelerated the shift of payment behaviour and preference of Filipinos from cash to digital.

“We aim to better serve and engage the now digitally savvy customers, by continuously innovating and expanding our digital ecosystem of partners and merchants, for an enhanced digital experience that goes beyond banking.”

Santiago also noted that the bank’s digital customer base has also grown to 4.9 million last year.

Ant Group’s Alipay+ offers cross-border mobile payments and marketing solutions. Since its launch in 2020, around one million offline merchants across key European and Asian markets have adopted the suite.

Ant Group Alipay+ Global Payment Partnership general manager Cheng Guoming said: “Digital payment is not only about mobile wallets, but also includes banking apps and other digitalised payment methods. Alipay+ is working closely with digital payment providers such as BPI to alleviate cross-border payments pain points for consumers.

“BPI is one of the largest and most trusted banks in the Philippines with a loyal customer base. We are excited to partner with BPI to make regional and global brands more accessible to local consumers and to enhance their lifestyle.”

In April, Ant Group agreed to acquire a majority stake in payments platform 2C2P.