90% of Chinese tourists would use mobile payment overseas if given the option – Nielsen

Over 90% of Chinese tourists would use mobile payment overseas if given the option according to Nielsen and Alipay's Outbound Chinese Tourism and Consumption Trends: 2017 survey.

Meanwhile, 65% of Chinese tourists already use mobile payment platforms while abroad which is more than six times that of non-Chinese tourists (11%).

According to the report, Chinese tourists exhibit stronger purchasing power than non-Chinese tourists, spending an average of $762 per person towards shopping on their most recent overseas trip. Meanwhile, non-Chinese tourists comparatively spend an average of $486.

The survey also found that the younger generations used mobile payment more frequently: for the post-90s generation, 3.3 out of 10 payments were via mobile and 3.7 via card; but for the post-70s generation, 2.3 were via mobile and 4.9 via card.

Vishal Bali, managing director of Nielsen China, said: "China has embraced mobile payments faster than any country, and will continue to lead the global charge in this regard. Mobile payment is on the rise globally, and will continue to support greater connectivity and efficiency across the commercial ecosystem.”

Li Wang, head of Alipay EMEA, Ant Financial commented on the report, “If UK merchants are to embrace the opportunities that come with increased tourism from China, it’s crucial that they get into the mindset of Chinese travellers. Providing products and services that are suited to their preferences is the best way for businesses including shops, restaurants, hotels and entertainment providers to market to Chinese tourists.

"But as this research shows, how they purchase is as significant as what they purchase for many Chinese tourists. When travelling, Chinese nationals expect the ease and simplicity of seamless, instant mobile payments, which they have access to at home; consequently UK merchants that embrace mobile payments will have more appeal to Chinese customers.”

Digital payments have been bolstered in China by Alipay and WeChat Pay which have already become regarded as some of China's most relevant brands. Alipay recently event sent eight Chinese tourists on a cashless experiment in Finland.

This month’s issue of The Drum magazine focuses on the mobile sector with insights on the democratisation of photography and interview with US recording artist Ryan Leslie who shared his personal mobile number with the world to help his fan engagement and a look at the longevity of the low-cost smartphone market in China and India. Buy your copy of this issue and other copies through The Drum website.