Chinese Tourists Go Cashless in Singapore with Alipay and Singapore Tourism Board
SINGAPORE, 13 September 2018 – Alipay, the world’s leading mobile payment and lifestyle platform operated by Ant Financial Services Group, today announced the conclusion of the first ‘’cashless’’ trip made by Chinese visitors to Singapore, together with the Singapore Tourism Board (STB). Prominent Singaporean businesses including Resort World Sentosa, Shangri-La Hotel, and Singapore Airlines offered their support by accepting Alipay throughout the trip.
This trip was designed to promote Singapore’s various destination offerings that accept Alipay’s cashless payment platform to demonstrate to Chinese visitors that they can enjoy the same seamless experience in Singapore as they do back at home. At the same time, the visitors were also encouraged to explore the city with itineraries tailored to their passions. Through a social media campaign, Alipay and STB invited six lucky users to go on a Singaporean sojourn that was cashless in execution, and priceless in value. During the trip, the visitors used Alipay for purchases including meals, accommodations, transportation, gifts and souvenirs, and entertainment experiences. Distinct travel itineraries were curated by the STB for the Foodies, Collectors and Explorers tribes, which took the visitors to unique destinations in Singapore for mouthwatering meals, exciting places to shop, and fantastic sights.
“With the announcement of this trip, we learned that Chinese tourists prefer to use mobile payment,” said James Quan, founder of Bynd Artisan, a bookbinding and leather crafting business. “Once we realized this we didn’t hesitate to adopt Alipay so we can better serve our Chinese customers.”
“Since Alipay is convenient and acts as a wallet, we have noticed that a majority of Chinese guests visiting our store choose to use Alipay for their purchases. We have been partnering with Alipay as we want to make our Chinese customers feel comfortable while shopping with us, by offering them a payment method that they are familiar with,” said Crystal Chip, a store manager of fashion brand PEDRO, which experienced an increase in traffic and awareness from Chinese tourists after connecting with Alipay.
Singapore is attracting a growing number of Chinese tourists, partly due to the efforts of local merchants to address the evolving needs and spending habits of Chinese visitors. According to STB, over 3.2 million Chinese tourists visited Singapore in 2017. Singapore welcomed more tourists from China than from any other country for the first time last year. Chinese tourists are also the largest source of tourist spending in Singapore.
“We are pleased to have partnered with Alipay in this activity given their strong reach and understanding of the Chinese market, our top source market for both visitor arrivals and tourist spending. We hope to use the insights from this initiative to explore better ways of engaging Chinese visitors and to offer more compelling and seamless experiences through Alipay that are better tailored to their passions,” said Miss Jacqueline Ng, Director, Marketing Partnerships and Planning, Singapore Tourism Board.
“We are very pleased to work with the Singapore Tourism Board to provide a cashless experience for Chinese tourists travelling to Singapore. Through Alipay, we hope to help even more merchants in Singapore connect with Chinese tourists,” said Cherry Huang, General Manager, Cross-border Business for South and Southeast Asia, Alipay.
Data from Nielsen has indicated that 65% of Chinese tourists use mobile payment platforms during their overseas travels, six times more than non-Chinese tourists (11%). In addition, over 90% of Chinese tourists would consider using Alipay when traveling abroad if Alipay was more widely accepted among foreign merchants. Moreover, over 90% of Chinese tourists indicated they would increase their spending if Alipay was an accepted payment method.
Last year, Finland became the first country to offer Chinese travelers a completely cashless experience. A group of Chinese visitors paid for all of their local transactions via their Alipay accounts, from booking flights, making retail purchases, and dining out, to visiting museums, experiencing recreational activities, and managing transportation, as well as receiving an instant tax refund at the Helsinki airport.
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 200 domestic financial institution partners. 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. Alipay’s in-store payment service covers more than 40 countries across the world, and tax reimbursement via Alipay is supported in 29 countries and regions. Alipay works with over 250 overseas financial institutions and payment solution providers to enable cross-border payments for Chinese traveling overseas and overseas customers who purchase products from Chinese e-commerce sites. Alipay currently supports 27 currencies.