Chinese tourists boost mobile payments abroad

As more Chinese people travel abroad during this year’s summer holiday, the boom in mobile payments has reached several countries, according to latest data from the nation’s leading mobile payment service.

Statistics from Alipay showed the number of mobile payment transaction increased 75 times in Russia, 12 times in Canada and eight times in Malaysia. New Zealand, Australia and Finland also saw big increase in this summer.

In order to attract more Chinese tourists, many countries showed unprecedented enthusiasm for mobile payments, hoping the popular e-payment method could help them gain an advantage, said an official with Alipay.

A greater number of such consumers come from the relatively affluent areas, with Shenzhen, Shanghai and Beijing being the top three sources of origin, Alipay said.

In Singapore, mobile payment has experienced rapid development over the past year, and more than 70 percent of taxis, Changi Airport stores, and some tourist attractions accept smartphones payment.

In Dubai, Mashreq Bank said it is cooperating closely with Alipay. Over the next three months, the number of merchants that have access to Alipay is expected to rise to 1,000 from 150 now.

Compared with Asian countries, European countries didn’t have competitive strength in mobile payment coverage. However, to attract more Chinese tourists, they increased the number of airports that support Alipay tax refunds to 80, a new high.

With growing acceptance of mobile payments, Alipay predicted that over the next five years Chinese people won’t need to take their wallet when they travel to some famous tourist attractions.