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Chinese travelers embrace mobile payments

  • Source: chinadaily.com
  • Oct.09,2018

Mobile payment continued to soar at popular overseas destinations for Chinese travelers during the weeklong National Day holiday that ended on Sunday, according to major mobile payment provider Alipay.

Bicester Village, an outlet shopping area near Oxford in the United Kingdom, Dotonbori commercial area in Osaka, Japan, and Australia's Sydney Airport were cited as the top three locations for Chinese consumers to pay using their phones, Alipay said in a report published on Sunday.


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The number of transactions using Alipay at these three locations jumped 90-fold, 70-fold and 55-fold, respectively, which helped outbound per capita spending to surge 30 percent year-on-year, the company said.

Prior to the holiday, the mobile payment operator had published a list of "40 outbound cashless destinations", including airports, commercial zones and outlets.

"Average use of Alipay at these locations surged tens of times this year," said Chen Jiayi, director of Alipay's international business division. "It's fair to say that Chinese consumers are introducing the world to mobile payment."

Middle-aged and elderly Chinese consumers are increasingly making their presence felt among the ranks of the nation's overseas shoppers using digital payment.

The number of shoppers born in the 1960s using mobile payment overseas jumped over 90 percent year-on-year during the holiday, the highest growth rate across all age groups.

Meanwhile, consumers from Fuzhou, capital of Fujian province, recorded 70 percent year-on-year growth in terms of average expenditure using mobile payment overseas, surpassing their counterparts from major cities such as Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Shenzhen for the first time.

"As payment firms branch out beyond borders, the expanded demographic using digital wallets overseas reflects a natural extension of their 'default' payment habits from home to abroad," said Wang Pengbo, a payment and consumer finance expert at consultancy Analysys.

To increase the attraction of cashless payment, WeChat Pay, another leading mobile payment platform, waived bills for randomly selected customers purchasing goods during the holiday in countries including Australia and Canada using WeChat wallet, the company said on Monday.

Payment firms are quickly expanding their services overseas as they follow the footsteps of China's increasingly globetrotting tourists. More than 131 million people traveled overseas last year and spent a total of $115.3 billion, according to the annual report of the China Tourism Academy released in June.