Chinese tourists rallying around mobile payments - Mobile World Live

Chinese tourists rallying around mobile payments

20 MAR 2018

Alipay talked-up growth in the number of Chinese tourists using mobile payment systems overseas, as it unveiled a study comparing huge uptake among Chinese travellers with low penetration among other holidaymakers.

The survey, conducted by analyst company Neilsen in collaboration with Alipay, said 65 per cent of Chinese overseas tourists used their existing mobile payment apps during 2017, compared to 11 per cent of travellers from elsewhere in the world.

Mobile payments were most likely to be used for transactions in retailers, dining and paying for attractions. Results from the Chinese nationals polled also revealed a small increase in the proportion of overall transactions made using a mobile handset, from 23 per cent in 2016 to 28 per cent in 2017.

When asked for their main reasons for using the mobile payments, 64 per cent of Chinese tourists cited “convenience, speed and familiarity” as a main benefit, while 48 per cent stated “pride for Chinese brands”.

Souheil Badran, president of Alipay Americas, said: “As Chinese tourism grows at a rapid pace, these travellers are bringing their cashless lifestyle with them when they visit other countries. These results indicate that Chinese travellers are looking for merchants that accept familiar mobile payment methods and are ready to spend more shopping at those merchants that do.”

The report comes as Alipay continues with its strategy to pursue collaborations with retailers and groups popular with Chinese tourists abroad in a bid to boost usage outside of mainland China.

Recent deals signed include sports retailer Lacoste’s US stores and payment processor Verifone.

This week, the company also announced an agreement with point of sale transaction processor Openpay to allow Alipay to be used at its network of 17,500 retailers in Mexico.

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Chris Donkin

Chris joined the Mobile World Live team in November 2016 having previously worked at a number of UK media outlets including Trinity Mirror, The Press Association and UK telecoms publication Mobile News. After spending 10 years in journalism, he moved...

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