Alipay partners with Merlin for London attractions
Written by Peter Walker
Merlin Entertainments has partnered with Alipay so Chinese tourists can use their Alipay app across the company’s London attractions, including Madame Tussauds, the London Eye and London Dungeon.
Visitors will be able to collect discounted e-coupons when they book flights to London, as well as paying for souvenirs ahead of time. Alipay users with higher membership levels will also receive preferential foreign exchange rates.
Through the app, Merlin will promotional push notifications and information to help Chinese tourists find attractions nearby.
Alipay lets Chinese visitors pay at shops in 18 European countries, while its tax refund service is supported in 76 European airports. So far, Alipay has targeted luxury brands like Harrods and Selfridges in the UK.
Tao Tao, Alipay’s business development director for EMEA, said the company is focused on enabling Chinese tourists to experience seamless travel from the moment they book their flight, through to their transport, shopping, eating and entertainment.
“We’ve made great progress in the retail space, with leading brands across Europe embracing the opportunity to better cater to the lucrative Chinese tourism market,” he added.
After parent company Ant Financial secured a $14 billion round of fundraising, Alipay is looking to increase its coverage, aiming to be available in 20 countries across Europe at the end of this year – up from six in 2017. To date, the mobile payment platform has signed deals with over 100 banks and 40 digital wallets companies across the continent.