US-based pharmacy store chain Walgreens has enabled its customers in the US to pay using mobile payment platform Alipay, which is operated by China’s Ant Financial.

The functionality will be initially available at 3,000 stores of the retailer in cities including New York City, San Francisco and Las Vegas.

Plans are on to extend the reach of the service to over 7,000 Walgreens locations by this April.

Alipay North America general manager Yulei Wang said: “This is a key strategic partnership for achieving awareness in the U.S., as Walgreens is one of the country’s largest drugstore chains.”

Alipay’s global user base currently stands at one billion.

A report published by Nielsen found over two-thirds of Chinese tourists using their smartphones to make payments while being overseas in 2018.

Moreover, around 60% of the merchants said that they reported rise in foot traffic and revenue after using Alipay.

Walgreens president of operations Richard Ashworth said: “Walgreens is focused on making shopping more convenient for our customers. This collaboration has particular significance for our Chinese customer population, who now has a new way to experience Walgreens.

“Not only can they buy our products via our dedicated store on Alibaba’s Tmall Global marketplace, but they will now also be able to shop in the U.S. using Alipay as they would in China. We look forward to the ongoing evolution of our partnership with Alibaba Group.”