International merchants embracing Chinese mobile payments, says report

A new survey by Alipay and Nielsen has found overseas merchants are actively exploring digital operations via Chinese mobile payments to increase sales and customer traffic.

The jointly released survey reveals the latest trends in Chinese outbound tourism and the consumption habits of Chinese travellers for the third consecutive year. 

The results were demonstrated by nearly eight out of 10 (78 per cent) of UK merchants surveyed, saying they are likely to recommend Alipay to their peers, especially for using digital operations to improve efficiency and turnover.

Surveying 4837 Chinese travellers and 547 overseas merchants, the report found that Chinese tourists’ usage of mobile payments while travelling overseas continues to increase, with Singapore, South Korea, Japan, Australia, France, Thailand, New Zealand, Canada, the UK, and the US ranked as the “top 10 countries where Chinese tourists love to use mobile payments in 2019.”

In Singapore, an early adopter of Chinese mobile payment solutions, almost all merchants (97 per cent) indicated steady improvement compared to the previous year in terms of mobile payment usage and the amount of mobile spending by Chinese tourists.

“Chinese mobile payments engagement level and the depth of usage among Chinese tourists continued to increase, indicating a more in-depth development of Chinese mobile payment solutions globally,” said Nielsen China president Justin Sargent. “As such, overseas merchants are showing a more open attitude towards the application of Chinese mobile payment platforms and digital operations. More overseas merchants may deepen their use of Chinese mobile payment platforms to go digital.”

Regions such as the UK are accelerating the acceptance of Chinese mobile payments. Overseas merchants are also going beyond payment to explore more digitalised solutions including digital marketing, with nearly 70 per cent of UK merchants surveyed saying they have already used additional services other than payment in Alipay. 

The improved acceptance of mobile payment solutions has made it possible for Chinese tourists to bring less cash, with data showing that the amount of foreign currency exchanged by Chinese tourists before leaving for Europe last year fell by 16 per cent.

Last year, 100 per cent of Chinese tourists surveyed had Alipay on their mobile phones while travelling overseas. On average, Chinese tourists surveyed used Alipay in nearly four transactions during their most recent trip overseas.

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