Mobile payment solutions are ubiquitous in China. Chinese people choose digital wallets over credit cards to pay for goods and services, but they also rely on super-apps like Alipay and WeChat Pay to manage every aspect of their lives. The same thing is true when they travel abroad; they expect these methods of payment to be available everywhere they go. Outbound Chinese tourism is a powerful market, and the world is taking notice. See why—and how—an increasing number of overseas merchants are embracing Chinese mobile payments.
The 2018 Trends for Mobile Payment in Chinese Outbound Tourism report issued jointly by Nielsen and Alipay found that 69% of Chinese tourists who travelled overseas during the last 12 months used mobile payments while on vacation. The report states that they paid for 32% of transactions using mobile devices (surpassing cash for the first time in 2018, which was used 30% of the time), and that 90% of them would use mobile payments abroad, if given the option.
The report also found that 58% of surveyed merchants in Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand—some of the most popular destinations for Chinese tourists—said that their foot traffic increased after accepting Alipay, and 56% said they saw an increase in sales. This means Alipay can continue to improve its offer to Chinese users, and to develop new features that improve connectivity with merchants overseas.
Recent data compiled by COTRI (China Outbound Tourism Research Institute) and CTA (China Tourism Academy) showed that Chinese tourists made 149.7 million overseas trips in 2018, and that European countries took up a quarter of the top 20 destination countries for these tourists. As a result, WeChat has been focusing on this market as a key element of its cross-border mobile payments expansion, actively collaborating with European luxury brands, businesses and organizations. Partnerships include Schiphol International Airport in Amsterdam, Galeries Lafayette in Paris, Harrods in London, El Corte Inglés in Spain and many other high-end stores and luxury brands, as well as popular European landmarks and attractions.
In addition to making it easy for overseas merchants to accept their mobile payment solutions, Alipay and WeChat Pay are also deploying a vast array of targeted marketing strategies and tactics. From personal shoppers, hands-free shopping, in-store activation and discounts for Chinese passport holders, to simplified in-store tax-free process, social-media outreach and even flying-in Chinese influencers, Alipay and WeChat Pay go all out to connect Chinese tourists with international businesses.
Affluent outbound Chinese tourists and their mobile payment solutions are impossible to ignore for any business trying to succeed on the Chinese consumer market. As the authorized partner of Alipay and WeChat Pay in Canada, OTT Pay knows these platforms inside and out. To find out how we can help your business leverage mobile payments with Chinese consumers, give us a call at (+1) 800-688-9838 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.