Mobile pay grows thanks to Chinese tourists

Growth of mobile payments among the Chinese populations is spreading over seas – as countries begin to accept mobile payments to cater to Chinese tourists.

Three quarters of supermarkets and convenience stores in Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand now accept Chinese mobile payment. 71% of duty-free stores and luxury stores also take the payment method. Of merchants in Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand, 88% adopted the technology in the last two years. Of those who accepted the payment, 40% saw an increase in foot traffic.

The dominant operators are Alipay, which is run by Alibaba-affiliate Ant Financial, and WeChat Pay, tied to WeChat.

Andy Zhao, president of Nielsen China, said in a statement: “Along with the increasingly personalized and sophisticated demand of Chinese tourists, improving the global coverage of mobile payments is a long-term project (for merchants).”

According to travel site Ctrip, Thailand will be the most popular overseas travel destination for Chinese tourists during the Chinese New Year holiday. Japan, Malaysia, Singapore and the U.S. will also attract the 7 million Chinese tourists during the holiday.

Mobile payments are overwhelmingly popular in China – with $16 trillion spent using mobile phones in the first quarter of 2018.

Image via Richard Tanzer Fotografie / VeroPay

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