Alipay, a payment and lifestyle platform by Ant Financial, has connected more than 300,000 Japanese merchants as of early 2019, a 500 percent increase compared with last year.
“We are dedicated to supporting small and micro businesses around the world through our technology. Digital wallets like Alipay are not only convenient payment tools, but also smart marketing platforms to connect merchants and their potential customers before, during and after their visits to Japan,” said Eric Jing, Chairman and CEO of Ant Financial.
Japan has proven to be a lucrative market for tourism, especially from mainland China. According to Alipay statistics, the country is one of the most popular destinations for holiday by Chinese tourists. In the past Labor Day holidays, it ranked fourth among all overseas destinations in terms of total Alipay transaction volume. It also posted one of the biggest increases in tourist spending, with average spending on Alipay per person rising 25 percent year-on-year.
More tourists are expected to visit Japan in the coming years and Alipay is working to help local merchants cope with the influx through digital payments, while providing tourists with the mobile payment experience that they are familiar with back home, Alipay said in its press release.
Alipay’s expansion in Japan also accords with Japanese government’s plan to drive greater adoption of mobile payments. This cooperation can be a win-win solution. Nearly 60 percent of overseas bricks-and-mortar merchants that adopted Alipay saw a subsequent growth in both foot traffic and revenue, according to Nielsen. Another report found that over 90 percent of Chinese tourists would use mobile payment while traveling overseas if they were given the option.
Apart from Japan, Alipay has developed e-wallet partnership with TrueMoney in Thailand, GCash in the Philippines, kakaopay in the Republic of Korea, and Paytm in India.
“Alipay has been providing technology support to our nine e-wallet partners to enhance their cross-border payment capabilities, and hopefully to bring more Asian customers to Japan and contribute to revitalizing the local economy,” Jing said.
Featured photo credit to Ant Financial