According to Fung Business Intelligence Centre, a market research institute based in Hong Kong, the average Chinese tourist spends over US$2,500 in retail shops during a trip to Europe, which is around twice the amount they spend in Hong Kong.
They trust that the goods are authentic and they have the money to pay for them. Chinese tourists’ buying power has increased rapidly in recent years. Today, more billionaires live in China than anywhere else. Even if most Chinese tourists do not fall under this category, they still have enough financial leeway to purchase luxury items from Paris, London or Berlin. Alipay offers Chinese users a proven and trusted point-of-sale payment method in Europe – without the hassle and fees associated with currency conversion.
Revenue driver for the point-of-sale
The solution is based on the ConnectedPOS platform, which means merchants do not have to make any changes to their existing till system to process Alipay payments. They can simply integrate the software or hardware directly into their POS system or install it externally between the POS system and receipt printer. If a customer wants to make a purchase with Alipay Wallet, the app generates a barcode for the merchant to scan, initiating the seamless payment process.
«Developing a cluster of solutions that, on the one hand, guarantees the highest level of security during payment and, on the other, introduces new product dimensions, creates a win-win for merchants and end users.»
Jörn Leogrande | Executive Vice President Mobile Services
With the expansion of Alipay acceptance to Europe, Wirecard has its eye on the growth market of Chinese tourism and business travel. Last year, over 100 million Chinese outbound travellers spent approximately US$229 billion abroad. This figure should climb to US$422 billion by 2020, according to ForwardKeys, a tourism market research company.
Lin regularly travels to Europe. Unlike most of her fellow tourists, Germany is also – in a sense – home. Her husband Markus, with whom she lives in Shanghai, is German.
They both benefit from the favourable price gap and shop on a different scale in Munich or Berlin than they do in Hong Kong or Macau.
Lin and Markus only buy special products that they can’t find in China. The payment process is also familiar to them, as they have the Alipay app on their smartphone.
Lin and Markus would like to go to a concert in the evening. The Alipay app is also helpful when it comes to going out. Alongside convenient payment options, it offers added benefits such as access to event information. Lin and Markus’ tickets for the concert are delivered straight to their smartphone via the app.