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Swiss Davos to launch Alipay for Chinese visitors
Ant Financial Services Group today announced that Alipay is soon to be made available to most local businesses in the Swiss town of Davos, thanks to a partnership with SIX Payment Services, a pan-Europe payment service provider based in Switzerland. Restaurants, bars, supermarkets and hotels in Davos will be offering Alipay, all with merchant information available in Alipay’s in-app overseas traveller service platform.
Alipay, along with its arch-rival WeChat Pay, has aggressively expanded globally in recent years. Data from research institution iResearch shows that the value of China’s mobile payments market tripled to more than RMB 38.5 trillion ($5.6 trillion) in 2016 and is projected to reach RMB 55 trillion in 2017. Comparing the marketshare, Alipay accounted for over 80 per cent of transaction value just three years ago, however, it held a 54 per cent share of mobile transactions by value, while WeChat Pay claimed 40 per cent, in the first quarter of 2017.
With around 40 flights between the two countries every week, China has become the fourth largest source of tourists to Switzerland and the two nations experienced over 1.2 million two-way visits between China and Switzerland in 2017, up 12% year-on-year. Holiday is the peak season, as Alipay overseas transaction grew by eight times over National Holiday Golden Week in 2017.
“Alipay is committed to better connecting Chinese tourists abroad with local merchants. We help businesses to share customised service offerings that cater to the needs of Chinese tourists,” said Eric Jing, CEO of Ant Financial.
SIX Payment Services currently supports bank card transactions via Point of Sale (POS) systems at over 250 merchants in Davos. With the new agreement in place, these Swiss merchants will soon be able to serve Chinese tourists by offering e-payments in RMB via Alipay.