Richmond businesses to become ‘China-ready’ with Alipay partnership

Thanks to a new agreement between Tourism Richmond and local businesses through Alipay’s mobile payment platform, Richmond merchants will soon be able to better market to Chinese tourists.

Alipay, which is associated with Chinese online retail giant Alibaba, allows merchants to highlight their business on a location-based “discover” function. Merchants can also market to Chinese consumers, while customers can receive promotional information through the mobile app. In China, Alipay has more than 700 million users and more than 70 per cent use the app to pay for goods and services.

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“We see this partnership as an opportunity to help our stakeholders and merchants to become China-ready,” said Nancy Small, chief executive officer of Tourism Richmond in a press release.

“We’re seeing visitation from China grow year over year. Offering this payment option is a first step to welcoming Chinese customers, whether they’re here as a tourist visiting Metro Vancouver, international student or new immigrant.”

According to Tourism Richmond, approximately one million Chinese visitors spent time in Richmond in 2017. This October, Richmond is expected to see 300,000 Metro Vancouver Chinese tourists to celebrate Golden Week.

“Metro Vancouver is a key destination during Golden Week for Chinese consumers who seek out authentic and local experiences,” said Rita Liu, head of Canada at Alipay in a press release.

“Alipay gives travellers peace of mind while they are abroad with a secure and convenient payment option they are already accustomed to at home. We partnered with Tourism Richmond for the greatest reach to retail partners in the Metro Vancouver area, and we are pleased to continue to offer travellers a seamless shopping and payment experience.”

According to China Travel Outbound, 90 per cent of Chinese travelers use mobile payment options when going overseas and 91 per cent say that availability of mobile payment systems would encourage them to spend more abroad.

Alipay currently supports 27 currencies and its in-store payment service covers more than 35 countries worldwide.

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