Global Payments partners with Alipay in UK
Written by Peter Walker
Global Payments has formed a new partnership in the UK with Alipay, enabling merchants to provide a seamless shopping experience to the Chinese tourist market.
Nearly 350,000 Chinese nationals visited the UK in 2017, spending almost £700 million, with mobile payments being the most popular form of payment.
Through Global Payments’ partnership with Alipay, merchants will have the ability to serve Chinese tourists by offering e-payments in Chinese Yuan in-store or online.
The launch of this partnership comes at the start of Chinese Golden Week, a traditional time when Chinese nationals travel.
“Alipay is committed to better connecting Chinese tourists abroad with local merchants,” commented Tao Tao, business development director at Alipay EMEA. “By partnering with Global Payments and subsequently providing access to our services, we are continuing with our mission to break down global borders and accelerate the free flow of trade and communication through technological innovation.”
Various retailers, banks and tourism companies have started catering to the payment needs of Chinese tourists this year.
In July, Merlin Entertainments partnered with Alipay so tourists can use their Alipay app across the company’s London attractions, collecting discounted e-coupons when they book flights to London, as well as paying for souvenirs ahead of time.
In March, Qatar Airways expanded its collaboration with Wirecard to offer Alipay as a method of payment in selected Qatar Duty Free stores at Doha’s Hamad International Airport.
The previous month, Santander and merchant acquiring partner Elavon enabled its business customers to join the European network of Chinese payment wallet providers. Elavon plans to expand this functionality across its PoS solutions, which already accept UnionPay, by the end of 2018.
Meanwhile, rival Chinese e-commerce giant WeChat Pay has also made moves into Europe. In Italy, Chinese are now able to purchase both online and in-store through their app, thanks to a partnership signed with Digital Retex, Tencent Trusted Partner and DOCOMO Digital.
And last year, BNP Paribas introduced WeChat Pay to retailers across France and the rest of Europe, underlining the bank’s aim to attract Chinese customers.