It rolled out a while ago, and we waited for this to prove itself in the real world. There have been many promises over the years about opening Alipay up to foreign cards, but now five people we know have done it successfully. Seems legit! The intended user is a traveller or someone who, for some reason, doesn't want to sign-up for a bank card in China, but there's no reason you can't use it. It's super easy.
Step 1: Get Alipay
It's Step 1 in the Alipay article I mentioned. You just need a phone number. Got it? Good.
Step 2: Search TourPass
Just hit the search bar up top and search "TourPass."
Step 3: Select A Top-Up Amount
Basically, your Alipay creates an e-card with Bank of Shanghai that you can top-up using a foreign credit or debit card. The maximum you can top-up is 2,000rmb at a time.
Step 4: Connect A Foreign Card To Top-Up
Input the info on your foreign debit or credit card. They currently accept VISA, MasterCard, JCB or Diner's Club cards.
You'll also need to put in your passport details and a photo of the info page.
Step 5: SPEND SPEND SPEND SPEND
Enjoy the wonders of cashless consumption, one of the pillars of the Chinese miracle. Now, get out there, the economy isn't going to lubricate itself!
Step 6: Refunding The Money
No clue! Good luck with that, buddy.