According to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) the international student population in Canada tripled over the past decade. The IRCC also reports that as of December 31, 2020, close to 530, 540 foreign students were holding study permits, which puts Canada in third place globally when it comes to attracting international students.
Of all these inbound students, 22% come from China and 50% study in Ontario. Research by the Canadian Bureau for International Education (CBIE) also shows that international students—including Chinese students—choose to study in Canada because of the overall quality of the education system, Canada’s reputation as a multicultural and tolerant society, and for the opportunity to become permanent residents after their studies.
Chinese international students bring millions into Canada’s economy annually, spending on tuitions but also on room and board, school supplies and equipment, food, and other personal expenses. Therefore, any business targeting Chinese consumers should also cater to the needs of Chinese international students. Here are three helpful tips that can help you succeed.
Make it easy to spend. Chinese international students are mostly Gen Z’ers (age 16 to 25 in 2021) who are tech savvy, like to spend money, and expect to pay for goods and services the same way they do at home. Therefore, accepting digital payment options such as Alipay, WeChat Pay, and UnionPay is a must. These e-wallet aps make it easy for them to convert Chinese RMB into Canadian dollars, keep track of their expenses, and access money transferred from home.
Offer online promotions. Discounts, coupons, e-Gift Cards or other special offers are an integral part of Chinese consumer culture, and Chinese international students are no exception. They are tech savvy and use social media extensively and leveraging apps like WeChat official accounts is a great way to attract them and their community to your business.
Communicate with them. Chinese international students might not speak English fluently, and your business’ ability to communicate with them in their native tongue will be a huge competitive advantage. In addition to accepting popular Chinese online payments, make sure you have a reliable translation service that allows your staff or your customers to type text into the POS device, speak into the device microphone, or scan printed text that can be translated in Chinese.
As a leading payment provider and official partner of Alipay, WeChat Pay, and UnionPay in Canada, OTT Pay understands the needs and challenges faced by Chinese international students when they come to Canada. In addition to convenient and reliable digital payment solutions, we offer marketing and translation services, and we’re also currently working with several merchants catering specifically to Chinese international students such as Centra Food, FoodHWY, Lighket, and Yo!TEA.
Ready to connect with Chinese international students? Give our Customer Support Team a call at (+1) 800-688-9838 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to get started!