by Markus Eichinger
July 08, 2016

A further step towards cashless payments: Chinese tourists can now pay with their Alipay Wallet across Europe and outside China

Europe is the most popular travel destination for Chinese tourists: In 2013, approximately 1.7 million Chinese tourists visited Germany. In 2014, there were even approximately 2 million tourists visiting from China and the number is on the rise.

Shopping is placed at the very top of their to-do list when travelling to Europe: Every tourist from China spends an average of 3,000 Dollar on the trip here and makes with 67 percent a major share of his luxury purchases abroad. Chinese tourists even spend more for shopping than for accommodation and transportation – that’s a real difference compared to other countries like Germany.

Alipay, China’s largest mobile payment network, offering payment and escrow services for transactions, comes into play right here. From mid-July, Chinese tourists will profit from an expanded range of payment methods: At participating retailers, they will be able to conveniently pay for their shopping in the arrivals and departures areas of Munich Airport using their Alipay Wallet App. Due to this cooperation, Chinese travelers can now just whip out their mobile and start shopping their favorite brands – without any cash or credit cards.

Alipay means a revolution about how payment happens, by completely re-defining the shopping experience

Alipay is trusted by 450 million active members and registers 50 percent of transactions via mobile payment. The payment method enjoys a high degree of brand awareness of more than 90% and is represented by more than 600,000 merchants worldwide. With this, the Alipay App has become a lifestyle of Chinese consumers: More than 600,000 restaurants, 40,000 supermarkets and convenience stores, more than 1 million taxis and 300 hospitals are connected via the Alipay App to ensure users a seamless shopping experience.

From booking movie tickets, over food deliveries to transferring money on the go – Alipay means a revolution about how people experience the shopping and checkout processes. And this is the real revolution about Alipay: It’s not just another payment scheme, but a “lifestyle super app”, how the Alipay Wallet is called in China.

To achieve this high level of user experience, from a technology point of view, a seamless integration into the merchant infrastructure is the key to success. Wirecard supports an Alipay integration directly into the merchant’s POS software or the payment terminals and will offer other integration methods in the future, powered by Wirecard’s ConnectedPOS platform for value added services at the point of sale.

Munich Airport has as one of the first large retailers in Europe implemented this platform to get a quick acceptance for Alipay payments in the central till system. But besides payment, paying with Alipay Wallet will also bring attractive deals for Chinese tourists: For example, retailers provide Alipay stands with QR codes for Chinese tourists to scan and participate in the sales generation campaign.

 Alipay will soon be a popular payment method in Europe

The collected coupon is saved in the Alipay user’s pocket. The coupon can be directly redeemed or can be saved for a later usage. Notifications will be sent to users based on the coupon they collected which is particularly user-friendly.

With the further increase of travel frequency to overseas destinations and the desire of Chinese people to experience an authentic experience e.g. eat local deli, visit local market and above all shop local specialties, Alipay will soon be a popular payment method in Europe by enabling a global market.