BBVA, Dufry bring WeChat Pay to Spanish airport

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Spanish bank BBVA and duty-free travel retailer Dufry are partnering to accept mobile payments from China's WeChat Pay at the Madrid airport.

The payments from Chinese tourists traveling in Spain will be accepted at the World Duty Free stores in the Adolfo Suarez Madrid-Barajas Airport.

After offering the service to those using the shops at the airport, BBVA and Dufry plan to roll out acceptance at other duty free shops in Madrid and Barcelona for Chinese tourists opting to use Tencent's WeChat Pay.

The payment system also has been set up for easy deployment in the 24 other Spanish airports where World Duty Free shops operate if, or when, those airports introduce new flights to and from China.

BBVA says it is the first official WeChat Pay partner in Spain and will expand the service to other retailers, including large department stores, shops and major tourist attractions.

"Thanks to this partnership, we can allow Chinese travelers to feel at home when shopping at Spanish airports," Carlos Laita, director of innovation and market development for Europe, Middle East and Asia at BBVA, said in a Monday press release. "We are creating new opportunities for our merchant customers to increase their sales by leveraging their promotions with all of the marketing tools available in the WeChat ecosystem."

An estimated 650,000 Chinese tourists visited Spain last year and BBVA estimates that number will continue to grow as the country becomes a destination spot for those travelers.

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