HANGZHOU, China, Sept. 29 (Korea Bizwire) — Alipay, the world’s largest online and mobile payment platform, operated by Ant Financial Services Group (“Ant Financial”, “Ant”), recently announced an upgraded smart outbound tourist service platform at a meeting of ecosystem partners from over 20 countries and territories in Beijing.
The platform connects Chinese tourists with merchants, airports, travel agencies and other Alipay partners, giving users access to intuitive local offers and services, and merchants the ability to target potential clients.
“With 98% of outbound Chinese tourists owning a smartphone, there is a clear opportunity for a mobile-based ecosystem to deliver a truly 21st Century travel experience,” said Carl Su, Vice President of Ant Financial, at the 2017 Global Smart Tourism Ecosystem Summit in Beijing earlier this week. “Alipay’s smart tourist service platform connects all kinds of overseas merchants with the right Chinese tourists, even before they depart. Merchants find that our digital platform lowers marketing cost and improves conversion rate, while tourists find that access to local services and products is easier than ever before.”
Alipay’s outbound service platform allows users to download merchants’ coupons before or during their trip. Over 160,000 coupons are downloaded by users every day, among which 60% are redeemed when users pay via Alipay overseas.
Based on analysis of user preferences, Alipay recommends nearby merchants and even tips on itineraries. By paying with Alipay, users gain Alipay membership points that can ultimately gain them access to anything from better exchange rates and discount rates, to VIP lounge access at the airport.
The outbound tourism service platform also allows merchants and travel agencies to keep in touch with their customers online after the trip.
Alipay Expands Merchant Network in Nordic countries and Singapore
Alipay continues to expand its merchant network to provide better services for Chinese tourists wherever they travel. The payment platform is now accepted by more than 10 million merchants across China and by bricks-and-mortar shops in 33 countries and territories.
In September, Alipay signed Memorandums of Understanding with Finpro, Svensk Handel, and Scandinavian Tourist Board to promote Alipay’s smart tourism solutions to local merchants across the highly cashless Nordic countries. Alipay and the Singapore Tourism Board have also started to cooperate in the areas of data, marketing, service and products, which will deliver benefits to both Chinese tourists and local merchants in the near future.
In Singapore and Finland, Chinese tourists can now enjoy local experiences by relying only on their smart phones. Over 80% of Singapore’s taxis provide Alipay as a payment option. Alipay is also accepted at over 2,000 merchants, including Wildlife Reserves Singapore, Universal Studios Singapore, Resorts World Sentosa, Singapore Zoo, department stores under Metro and Robinsons, and a series of hawker centers. Instant tax refunds via Alipay will soon also be available at Changi Airport.
In Finland, Chinese tourists can use Alipay to shop in-flight, on cruises, and pay for saunas. The convenient payment experience starts when a Chinese tourist books his or her flight ticket and hotel room online, and continues with shopping on Finnair flights between China and Helsinki. On the ground in Finland, Chinese tourists can access everything from bus trips and sightseeing in Helsinki to shopping, dining, and even meet the Moomin in Naantali or Santa Claus up in Lapland. In-cabin sales on Finnair flights between China and Helsinki have doubled since Alipay’s service was launched in January 2017.
Operated by Ant Financial Services Group, Alipay is the world’s largest mobile and online payment platform. Launched in 2004, Alipay currently has over 520 million active users and over 450 financial institution partners globally. Alipay has evolved from a digital wallet to a lifestyle enabler. Users can hail a taxi, book a hotel, buy movie tickets, pay utility bills, make appointments with doctors, or purchase wealth management products directly from within the app. In addition to online payments, Alipay is expanding to in-store offline payments both inside and outside of China. Over 10 million brick-and-mortar merchants now accept Alipay across China. Alipay’s in-store payment service is covering more than 30 countries across the world, and tax reimbursement via Alipay is supported in 24 countries and regions. Alipay works with over 250 overseas financial institutions and payment solution providers to enable cross-border payments for Chinese travelling overseas and overseas customers who purchase products from Chinese e-commerce sites. Alipay currently supports 27 currencies.
About Ant Financial
Ant Financial Services Group is focused on serving small and micro enterprises, as well as individuals. With the vision “bring the world equal opportunities,” Ant Financial is dedicated to building an open ecosystem of Internet thinking and technologies while working with other financial institutions to support the future financial needs of society. Businesses operated by Ant Financial Services Group include Alipay, Ant Fortune, Zhima Credit and MYbank.
For more information on Ant Financial, please visit our website at www.antgroup.com; or follow us on Twitter @AntFinancial.
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Source: Ant Financial Services Group via GLOBE NEWSWIRE