Hotel Group Marriott to Accept AliPay by End of 2016
United States based hotel group Marriott International has announced that it has partnered with leading Chinese payment processor AliPay to accept payments from its guests in the coming year.
Marriott also mentioned that its customers will also be able to pay using AliPay app for food and other services offered by the international hotel chain.
Marriott said that it would introduce AliPay on its Hong Kong, Shanghai, and Beijing properties first. By mid-2016, all of Marriott’s hotels and properties in Asia would implement the AliPay system and by the end of 2016, other locations would be covered around the world.
Commenting on introducing AliPay, the President and Managing Director of Marriott Asia Pacific, Craig Smith, told media that he believes it would be “revolutionary” for all the stakeholders involved as accepting payments via mobile devices is going to streamline booking and payment options.
Industry analysts believe that because AliPay has a high market share, around 80 percent, in the Chinese mobile payment market, introducing AliPay to Marriott outlets and hotels would help the company significantly to attract a new breed of customers in China.
Furthermore, a recent survey by Hotels.com revealed that 59% of the tourists in China rated payment services like AliPay as very important to pick while making reservation. The importance of mobile payment option in China came only after Wi-Fi availability.
By enabling AliPay, Marriott would potentially attract an additional 400 million registered users of AliPay in China alone.
Alibaba’s affiliate company Ant Financial is behind the popular AliPay and its President of International Business, Peng Yijie, told the media that “We have chosen to work with Marriott because of its highly celebrated brand image as well as its grand expansion plans both in Asia and the world.” “This is what we are looking for in our [expansion] strategy,” she added.
As the economy of China is becoming stronger, its tourists are also venturing out of the country. Enabling AliPay would provide Marriott with the opportunity to capture this growth market beyond China and may help boost sales in its international locations, especially in the region.