Last year, the average budget and actual spending of 2,806 Chinese outbound travellers surveyed in a study by Nielsen and Alipay increased to US$6,026 (+6%) and US$6,706 (+15%) respectively.
Outbound Chinese tourists travelled to more destinations in 2018, with respondents visiting an average of 2.8 countries/regions, up from 2.1 in 2017.
The study further showed that more Chinese tourists are adopting mobile payment while travelling overseas with more than two-thirds (69%) paying with their mobile phones abroad, up 4% from the previous year.
On their most recent overseas trips, Chinese tourists paid for 32% of transactions using mobile payment, overtaking cash for the first time.
In 2018, about three-quarters of Chinese tourists used mobile payment on their most recent trips to Singapore, Thailand or Malaysia, surpassing that for the US and Canada (61%), the UK, France and Germany (60%), as well as Australia and New Zealand (68%).
What this indicates, according to Alipay, is that South-east Asian merchants are leading when it comes to benefiting from Chinese mobile payment.
The study revealed that 90% of surveyed merchants in Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand reported encountering Chinese customers who asked if mobile payment was accepted in their stores. Meanwhile, 93% of surveyed Chinese tourists indicated they would likely increase their spending if mobile payment was more widely accepted – a higher figure than that in 2017’s survey.
Some 58% of surveyed merchants located in areas frequented by Chinese tourists in Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand accept mobile payment, with 70% of that number accepting Chinese mobile payment. By comparison, only 12% of them accepted Chinese mobile payment in 2016.
Retail merchants in particular, saw the highest adoption rate of Chinese mobile payment solutions, with 75% of supermarkets and convenience stores and 71% of duty-free stores now accepting mobile payment.