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Alipay & Barclaycard Help UK Retailers Reach Chinese Tourists

By Chris Dawson March 18, 2019 - 10:30 am

Barclaycard and Alipay have joined hands to allow more U.K. retailers to accept payments made with the digital wallet operated by Ant Financial. As part of the partnership, Barclaycard, which processes nearly half of the UK’s credit and debit card transactions, has it made it easy for UK retailers to integrate Alipay into their existing payment system.

The UK is a popular destination for Chinese travelers with the number of Chinese tourists will hit 483,000 this year, close to double the number in 2017. Spending by Chinese tourists is also expected to grow 50% to £1 billion this year, compared with 2017. The UK is also home to 393,000 Chinese residents and about 100,000 Chinese students who may well already be accustomed to using Alipay.

The latest agreement was cemented after a successful two-year pilot program, which received positive feedback from participating merchants. Barclaycard said it’s currently in talks with over 70 retailers who will likely become early adopters.

By accepting Alipay, the world’s most-used app in 2018 outside of social apps according to App Annie, retailers will be able to capitalise on the growing appetite of Chinese tourists to use mobile payments over cash while abroad. According to a 2018 survey conducted by Nielsen, the vast majority (93%) of Chinese tourists said they would likely spend more in a store that accepted mobile payments. In addition, among the merchants surveyed that had adopted Alipay, nearly 60% said that they had clearly seen growth in both foot traffic and revenue.

The new agreement will enable UK retailers to accept in-store Alipay payments without replacing their existing point-of-sale system, allowing them to take advantage of the boom in Chinese tourism without disrupting their existing customer experience. Retailers will also benefit from being at the fingertips of hundreds of millions of highly-engaged Alipay users, who will be able to search for outlets near their location to find out details such as opening hours, directions, and whether there are any discounts available.

“Thanks to the significant investments we’ve made in our platform, our clients have access to a growing range of payment types, each of which can help them increase market share by meeting the needs of new customers. Our new agreement with Alipay gives retailers a vital tool to help them seize the revenue opportunity posed by the growth of Chinese visitors to the UK. At the same time, Alipay users will benefit from a more convenient and familiar in-store payments process – enhancing their overall shopping experience.”
– Rob Cameron, CEO, Global Head of Payment Acceptance, Barclaycard

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