In China cash is no longer king. Why? Because of the Alipay phenomenon. It’s China’s biggest mobile payment platform with 622m users, handling more than half of the country’s $15.5tn payments market. Due to cooperations with European banks and retailers, Chinese travelers can now simply whip out their mobile devices and start shopping their favorite brands – without any cash or credit cards.
Europe is the most popular travel destination for Chinese tourists: In 2018, there were even approximately 10 million tourists visiting from China and the number is on the rise. And … they spent €40 billion per year!
Shopping is placed at the very top of their to-do list when travelling to Europe: Every tourist from China spends an average of 3,000 Dollar on the trip here and makes with 67 percent a major share of his luxury purchases abroad. Chinese tourists even spend more for shopping than for accommodation and transportation – that’s a real difference compared to other countries like Germany.
More than 520 million Chinese consumers use Alipay
The company was active in six European countries last year, but wants to be present in a total of 20 European countries at the end of this year, Li Wang, Head of EMEA at Alipay’s parent company Ant Financial, told Dutch newspaper Financieel Dagblad. “You can’t be successful if you’re playing defense. The payments market is changing rapidly in Europe”, she explains. “We’ve noticed that consumers want something different and that is what drives innovation.”
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Munich Airport has as one of the first large retailers in Europe implemented this platform to get a quick acceptance for Alipay payments in the central till system. But besides payment, paying with Alipay Wallet will also bring attractive deals for Chinese tourists: For example, retailers provide Alipay stands with QR codes for Chinese tourists to scan and participate in the sales generation campaign.
Alipay will soon be a popular payment method in Europe
The collected coupon is saved in the Alipay user’s pocket. The coupon can be directly redeemed or can be saved for a later usage. Notifications will be sent to users based on the coupon they collected which is particularly user-friendly.
With the further increase of travel frequency to overseas destinations and the desire of Chinese people to experience an authentic experience e.g. eat local deli, visit local market and above all shop local specialties, Alipay will soon be a popular payment method in Europe by enabling a global market.