ITB 2024 Special Reporting
Alipay to be introduced in Europe by the end of 2016.
Friday, 16th September 2016
Source : Christopher Ledsham - China Outbound Tourism Resea

Alibaba’s partnership with the global leader in seamless payments, Ingenico Group, will see China’s biggest mobile payment service Alipay wallet being available to Chinese users travelling in Europe before the end of 2016.

As part of the deal, Chinese Alipay customers will be able to use the mobile payment service in European locations already offering Ingenico’s in-store payment system which already supports the Apple Pay and Android Pay services, thereby saving the Chinese tech giant from having to strike more individual deals with European merchants.

Until now, Alipay only had agreements in place with a handful of high-profile foreign partners, allowing its Chinese customers to use the payment service at places such as Macy’s, or with AirBnb and Uber.

The two companies’ partnership will mean that Chinese tourists in Europe will be able to make payments via the Alipay app in stores already offering Ingenico services. Douglas Feagin, head of Alipay’s international business development said:

“Chinese customers travelling abroad -- one of their primary goals is to buy things. It’s a very large market for us given most travellers are Alipay customers already. This deal gives us immediate access to merchants across Europe, more quickly and more efficiently.”

While the deal will only be impacting Chinese Alipay customers for now, this development can have a far-reaching impact on the Chinese outbound tourism industry. Given the fact that Chinese UnionPay cards are only accepted in a minority of shops in Europe, Chinese tourists are typically forced to carry large amounts of cash when overseas, meaning that a new, convenient payment method would be warmly welcomed by Chinese travellers. Notably, with approximately 450 million users, Alipay wallet is far more popular than the equivalent services provided by Apple, Samsung and Google, which count a combined total of only tens of millions of users.

This development comes at a crucial time for Chinese outbound tourism to Europe, as ongoing security fears are causing arrival numbers from China to fall. With a total of 195 billion USD in 2015, the Chinese are the world’s largest group of tourists by expenditure " spending almost as much as the second-placed Americans and third-placed Germans put together " facilitating their shopping habits can help soften the blow of reduced arrivals.

COTRI China Outbound Tourism Research Institute provides expert insights into the worldwide developments of China’s outbound tourism market. As Chinese outbound tourists are travelling to a large range of destinations, our publications cover a number of regions, providing detailed insights and analysing visitor behaviour.

With COTRI’s insights you can forge a successful business strategy built upon in-depth market expertise, comprehensive qualitative analysis and future projections. The Spring 2016 Edition of the COTRI Market report features in-depth exploration of the developing trends in the field, supported by a wealth of qualitative and quantitative statistical research.


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