The sheer number of tourists from China vising locations around the world over the last few years has initiated Alipay’s expansion overseas.
Acceptance of Alipay had sprung up around Europe, Asia Pacific and Oceania. However, Alipay’s mobile payment acceptance outside of China had been concentrated on duty free retailers at airports where all Chinese visitors passes through when traveling. However, with a forecast of over 130 million Chinese traveling the world by the end of 2016, the scale is big enough for Alipay to target these Chinese visitors at the destination retailers.
According to Tourism Australia, Chinese tourists spent A$8.9 billion over a one year period to March 2016. The sheer size of the value spent by Chinese visitors to Australia is enough for merchants that Chinese travellers frequent in the market are starting to appreciate the buying power of Chinese tourists that they are willing to accept Alipay to make things easier for customers from China. This is also what prompts Alipay to setup its own operations in Sydney two years ago in preparation to expand the acceptance of Alipay for its customers from back home.
After setting up its own operations in Australia in late 2014, Alipay waited two years for the time when they can roll out Alipay’s acceptance in the market. Alipay had just made a big stride forward in Australia where it had partnered the Australia based Quest Payment Systems to roll out Alipay’s acceptance at retailers in the country. In the process Quest had designed and produced POS terminals that will accept Alipay’s mobile payment transactions. So far Quest has rolled out Alipay enabled POS terminals at a number of locations of the Chemist Warehouse chain where Chinese tourists frequent for buying Australian health supplements.
While it will be very difficult for Alipay to penetrate the domestic market outside of China, the spending power and the size of the Chinese tourist going overseas led Alipay to the opportunity to expand overseas. With an on the ground operations and the roll out in Australia taking place, it is a good opportunity for Alipay to strategise how it can expand into the domestic consumers in the foreseeable future.