Chinese outbound tourists powering mobile payment growth

Chinese outbound tourists are taking China’s mobile payment industry to foreign markets, according to Nielsen.

The research company’s report, 2018 Trends for Mobile Payment in Chinese Outbound Tourism, shows that mobile payment transactions by surveyed Chinese tourists surpassed the percentage paid with cash for the first time. Nearly 70 per cent of Chinese tourists paid with their mobile phones while abroad.

Several factors encourage Chinese tourists to use mobile payment abroad, with the most important being that they have already become accustomed to this fast and convenient payment method in their home country.

Merchants around the world have gradually recognised the importance of mobile payment for Chinese tourists and are witnessing benefits from better understanding of Chinese tourists’ habits and preference. Among the merchants surveyed at popular tourist areas in Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand that adopted Alipay, nearly 60 per cent saw growth in foot traffic and revenue.

Many merchants surveyed said mobile payment is a safe, reliable and effective payment method that resonates with Chinese shoppers. Of the merchants that adopted Alipay, 71 per cent said they would recommend the mobile payment platform to peers.

“Our store is located in an area frequented by Chinese tourists and they are our main customers. If we didn’t have mobile payment as an option, we would lose a lot of customers”,  said a Malaysian merchant cited in the white paper.

“The outbound travel craze among Chinese tourists offers an important opportunity to expand mobile payment globally, while mobile payment outside of our home market has a broad space for development,” observed Gao Zilong, COO of self-service QR-code payment firm Inspiry International.

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