Alipay demonstrates a 'cashless' Singapore
Fresh off the heels of raising capital of more than $12 billion in its latest funding round before a potentially lucrative IPO, Ant Financial Group, the operator of Alipay, is rapidly expanding its acceptance network outside of China.
In conjunction with the Singapore Tourism Bureau (STB), Alipay invited six Chinese tourists to visit the island country to showcase the ability of a consumer to travel without using any cash, only relying on the ability to use Alipay to purchase meals, accommodations, transportation and souvenirs. This is the second “cashless” destination stunt Alipay has conducted, with the first being in Finland in late 2017. Both the Singaporean and Finnish events were coupled with social media campaigns to highlight the acceptance network for Chinese tourists.
Last year more than 3.2 million Chinese travelers visited Singapore, according to the STB, up 13 percent from 2016; it was the first time they were No. 1 in visits to the country. Chinese tourists spent more than $2.2 billion last year, 44 percent of it on retail shopping.
Most recently Alipay expanded its acceptance network in Mexico through a partnership with payments provider Openpay. It also expanded its reach into the U.S. by adding acceptance at 99 Ranch Market, a 50-store chain of supermarkets specializing in Asian products and food.
“We are very pleased to work with the Singapore Tourism Board to provide a cashless experience for Chinese tourists travelling to Singapore. Through Alipay, we hope to help even more merchants in Singapore connect with Chinese tourists,” said Cherry Huang, general manager of cross-border business for south and southeast Asia at Alipay, in a press release.