Digital Transformation

Chinese tourists use of mobile payments abroad overtakes cash


By Danielle Long | Asia Pacific Correspondent

January 22, 2019 | 3 min read

Chinese travellers use of mobile payments abroad has overtaken cash for the first time with 32% of transactions paid for digitally, according to new research.

A joint report by Nielsen and Alipay, the Alibaba affiliated financial services company, found Chinese tourists were spending more money when travelling with more tourists using mobile payment while overseas.

china phone

Chinese tourists spend more abroad when mobile payments available

Chinese mobile payment methods also help to boost business for overseas merchants with 58% stating that after adopting Alipay, their foot traffic increased, while 56% claimed their sales improved.

The research revealed it is not just millennial Chinese travellers opting for mobile payments with 68% of the Chinese tourists that used mobile payment abroad in 2018 aged in their 40’s.

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The growth in locations accepting mobile payments also increased in 2018 with Chinese tourists making mobile payments in locations such as Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Europe, the United States and Australia.

The ‘2018 trends of Chinese mobile payment in outbound tourism’ report surveyed more than 2,800 Chinese travellers and over 1,200 overseas merchants in a bid to highlight the consumption habits of Chinese travellers.

The report also found that Chinese tourists travelled to more destinations in 2018, and their travel budget and actual spending increased to more than $6,000 per person.

Shopping, accommodation and dining remain the top three categories for purchases by Chinese tourists and discounts, quality and price are the three key factors driving Chinese tourists' shopping choices.

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