Ant Group and Mastercard, along with 12 overseas payment partners of Alipay+ and other major international card organisations, have launched the International Consumer Friendly Zones program in Shanghai. The initiative expands the partnership aimed at enhancing the travel experience for global travelers and stimulate growth for local businesses.

With the support of relevant authorities and local governments, the programme includes more than 20 primary shopping areas. It also incorporates renowned tourist attractions, both of Shanghai’s international airports, key high-speed railway stations, and taxi services. Shanghai’s landmarks, including the Bund, the Nanjing Road shopping district, and the iconic Oriental Pearl TV Tower, are also enlisted.

Ant Group now offers two digital payment alternatives for overseas visitors in China. Travelers can bind major international bank cards, including Visa, Mastercard, JCB, Discover, and Diners Club International to an Alipay app. This gives access to an array of local Alipay services from shopping, dining, ride-hailing to public transportation while in the Chinese mainland, without needing a local bank account or phone number.

In addition, Alipay+, a suite of cross-border mobile payment and digitalisation technology solutions under Ant International, enables overseas consumers to pay with their home e-wallets across China.

Alipay+: supports 12 e-wallets and payment apps in Asia

Alipay+ now supports 12 leading e-wallets and payment apps in Asia for use across an 80-million-strong merchant network in China. These include AlipayHK (Hong Kong SAR, China), (Kazakhstan), MPay (Macao SAR, China), Touch ‘n Go eWallet (Malaysia), Hipay (Mongolia), NayaPay (Pakistan), Changi Pay (Singapore), OCBC Digital (Singapore), Kakao Pay (South Korea), Naver Pay (South Korea), Toss Pay (South Korea), TrueMoney (Thailand).

International visitors spend via Ant Group soars

Amid rising inbound travel, spending by international visitors to Shanghai via the two digital payment alternatives by Ant Group between January and April climbed 13 times on year.

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“The introduction of the International Consumer Friendly Zones in Shanghai signifies a major advancement in our efforts to enrich inbound tourism experience and bolster local business, especially considering the city’s critical role in China’s global interactions,” said Fu Lu, Director of Cross-border Business in Greater China, Ant Group. Ant Group will integrate more card organisations and overseas digital wallets for utilisation and introduce new joint user campaigns.