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Spring Festival cash goes online as transfer orders soar

(China Daily)

08:23, February 20, 2013

Travelers pass an Alipay advertisement in Beijing on Jan 17. More than 1.64 million cash transfers were made through Alipay during the Spring Festival holiday. Wu Changqing / For China Daily

Online money transfers soared over the Lunar New Year holiday, as growing numbers chose to send their festive gifts online.

More than 1.64 million cash transfers were made through Alipay, the payment arm of the e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd, during the seven-day holiday, a 77 percent increase compared with the same period in 2012, Co Ltd announced on Monday.

In Beijing, 78,000 online transfers were made through Alipay during the holiday.

"Many users transferred the money for festival packages to their relatives and friends," said Zhu Xiaolei, head of the transfer arm of Alipay's life application division.

Two methods are used to transfer the festival packages online, Zhu said.

Older people transferred money to their juniors' Alipay accounts, and younger people giving money to their seniors tended to transfer directly into bank accounts, she said.

"The ratio of the former to the latter method is five to one," she added.

The average amount transferred to bank accounts was 1,200 yuan ($192.24), while the average amount sent to Alipay accounts was 320 yuan, according to Alipay.

Safety and convenience are the main reasons for the online transfers, some residents said.

Zhang Jing, 31, an office worker in Beijing, gave her parents 10,000 yuan for the festival, transferring the money online.

"Safety is my first concern when using online banks," Zhang said.

Zhang said she had to spend six hours on a train home and it was dangerous to carry the money.

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Email|Print|Comments(Editor:HuangBeibei、Liang Jun)

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