Chinese travel spending, mobile transactions on the up: Alipay

99 per cent of Chinese travellers surveyed have Alipay downloaded

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.

Of those surveyed in the Alipay study, more transactions were made using mobile payment than cash

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.

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