Where’s the best place to use Alipay outside of China?
The answer is Singapore, Malaysia, or Thailand, according to a survey conducted by research company Nielsen in 2018 and published on Thursday (Jan 24).
The three Southeast Asian countries were found to be the top places where Chinese tourists used mobile payment, outside of China, Hong Kong and Taiwan.
Nielsen surveyed 2,806 Chinese tourists aged 20 to 50 who had travelled in 2018 and planned to travel again in 2019.
It also surveyed 1,244 businesses in areas frequented by Chinese tourists across Singapore (281 merchants), and the respective capitals of Malaysia and Thailand: Kuala Lumpur (463 merchants) and Bangkok (500 merchants).
Researchers found that about 60 per cent of businesses in Singapore and KL, and 55 per cent of businesses in Bangkok, accepted mobile payment.
The dominant mobile payment type was Chinese mobile payment, which includes e-wallets, apps by banks or credit card agencies, and NFC (near field communication) payment – which accounted for 70 per cent of mobile payment types offered.
In particular, 75 per cent of supermarkets and convenience stores accepted Chinese mobile payment – the highest of all the business categories, Nielsen said.
Notably, among the businesses that offered Chinese mobile payment, 88 per cent only started doing so from two years ago.
One of the major reasons why businesses started offering Chinese mobile payment was due to the sheer volume of Chinese tourists, which were “a significant source of foot traffic and turnover,” Nielsen said.
It added that for half of the businesses surveyed, Chinese tourist dollars accounted for 20 to 50 per cent of revenue.
For another 30 per cent of businesses , this figure rose to above 50 per cent.
Another reason businesses started offering mobile payments was the volume of requests – 90 per cent of businesses had been asked if Chinese mobile payment was accepted in their store, Nielsen said in its report.
“Merchants have learned that mobile payment is the main payment method for Chinese tourists, and noticed many Chinese tourists are asking to use it to pay,” it added.
In addition, 92 per cent of businesses said the amount spent by Chinese tourists increased if mobile payment was available, while 40 per cent of businesses said foot traffic and profit increased after offering Chinese mobile payment.