Alipay beefs up at U.S. airports to serve China's travelers

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The online payment service Alipay, an affiliate of Alibaba, is extending its collaboration with luxury travel retailer DFS Group as more Chinese citizens increase their travel frequency to overseas locations.

DFS will launch Alipay's in-store mobile payment service in its Honolulu International Airport store, and in the downtown T Galleria by DFS Hawaii store ahead of Chinese New Year. The Honolulu deployment follows Alipay's launch at San Francisco International Airport, Los Angeles International Airport and Kennedy International Airport in 2016.

Alipay also recently partnered with First Data and Verifone to deploy its service at tablet-based point of sale terminals in the U.S.

"Chinese consumers love to shop when traveling to the U.S. and Canada, but language and payment barriers often complicate the process for many North American retailers," said Souheil Badran, president of Alipay in North America, in a Jan. 17 release.

Ant Financial operates Alipay, which has more than 450 million users, and about two million of those users visit the U.S. each year. The U.S. Travel Association estimates three million Chinese consumers overall will visit North America in 2017. Cities across the U.S. are expanding services for travelers from China, a rapidly expanding market segment. Alipay gives Chinese consumers the option of paying in U.S. or Chinese currency, and the app supports searches for nearby retailers and marketing offers.

Alipay, which is on pace to grab nearly two thirds of global mobile wallet share in the next three years, is also preparing to expand to South Korea to serve an expanding travel market that's closer to home.

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Mobile wallets Ant Financial U.S. China