Alipay, the world’s leading payment and lifestyle platform operated by
Ant Financial, has connected more than 300,000 Japanese merchants as of
early 2019 with tourists from Chinese mainland paying through the Alipay
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A pharmacy in Tokyo accepting Alipay.
This was an increase of about 500 percent compared with the beginning of
2018, when 50,000 merchants in Japan accepted Alipay, amid a push by the
Japanese government to drive greater adoption of mobile payments.1
Japan is one of the most popular destinations for holiday by Chinese
tourists, according to statistics compiled by Alipay, which is also
working with its e-wallet strategic partners in other Asian markets to
bring more consumers to Japan in the near future. Alipay’s e-wallet
partners include TrueMoney in Thailand, GCash in the Philippines,
kakaopay in the Republic of Korea, and Paytm in India.
Over China’s the four-day long Labour Day holidays in early May, Japan
was ranked fourth highest among all the overseas destinations in terms
of total Alipay transaction volume. The country also posted one of the
biggest increases in tourist spending, with average spending on Alipay
per person rising 25% year-on-year. During the period, the most popular
merchants for shoppers were convenience stores, airport shops, and
department stores, according to Alipay statistics.
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. 2
For example, users of AlipayHK – the e-wallet for Hong Kong citizens
jointly developed by Alipay and CKHH – can now use the e-wallets in the
Daimaru Tenjin store in Fukuoka, with the service expected to expand to
the whole of Japan in the near future.
“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,” said Eric Jing, Chairman and CEO of Ant
“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,” Eric added.
Nearly 60 per cent of overseas bricks-and-mortar merchants that adopted
Alipay saw a subsequent growth in both foot traffic and revenue,
according to the report 2018
Trends for Mobile Payment in Chinese Outbound Tourism by Nielsen. A
separate report, Outbound
Chinese Tourism andConsumption Trend: 2017 Survey, found that over
90% of Chinese tourists would use mobile payment while traveling
overseas if they were given the option.
China is the largest tourism market for Japan, accounting for 27%
percent of the 31 million tourists who visited the country in 2018.
Tourists from Asia as a whole reached 26 million last year, accounting
for more than 86% of Japan’s total visitor number.3
Operated by Ant Financial Services Group, Alipay is the world’s leading
payment and lifestyle platform. Launched in 2004, Alipay currently
serves over 1 billion users with its local e-wallets partners. Over the
years, Alipay has evolved from a digital wallet to a lifestyle enabler.
Users can hail a taxi, book a hotel, buy movie tickets, pay utility
bills, make appointments with doctors, or purchase wealth management
products directly from within the app. In addition to online payments,
Alipay is expanding to in-store offline payments both inside and outside
of China. Alipay’s in-store payment service covers over 50 markets
across the world, and tax reimbursement via Alipay is supported in 35
markets. Alipay works with over 250 overseas financial institutions and
payment solution providers to enable cross-border payments for Chinese
travelling overseas and overseas customers who purchase products from
Chinese e-commerce sites. Alipay currently supports 27 currencies.