Macau (MNA) – A report jointly conducted by Nielson Holdings- an American information, data and measurement company- and Alipay on the latest trends in outbound tourism and the consumption habits of Chinese travellers has been released, titled ‘2018 trends of Chinese mobile payment in outbound tourism’.
The report posits that travelling is no longer a luxury for many Chinese citizens as they are now enjoying rising incomes and better living standards, with 140 million outbound trips made in 2018, up 13.5 per cent year-on-year according to the latest statistics from the China Tourism Academy.
The increase in Chinese tourists’ consumption and spending habits overseas has driven China’s mobile payment sector to go global, and the report states that China’s mobile payment brands, represented by Alipay, have moved beyond the initial hurdles and are now experiencing vigorous growth.
In a survey of more than 2,800 Chinese tourists and 1,244 merchants at popular attractions frequented by Chinese tourists in Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand, the report concludes that more than 69 per cent of Chinese tourists paid with their mobile phones while abroad, up 4 per cent the previous year, and 32 per cent of transactions used mobile payments, overtaking cash for the first time.
The survey also found that 93 per cent of Chinese tourists would likely increase their spending if mobile payments were more widely accepted, a higher figure than that in 2017’s survey.
To accommodate this demand, the report states that currently, ’58 per cent of merchants located in areas frequented by Chinese tourists in Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand accept mobile payment, with 70 per cent of them accepting Chinese mobile payment.’
With the increased usage of mobile payment overseas by Chinese tourists and a deeper understanding of Chinese mobile payment brands by existing merchants, more merchants are willing to adopt Chinese mobile payment solutions.
That holds true for Macau and Hong Kong as well – considered top locations for short haul visits by first-tier city dwellers according to the report- when last year, over 8,000 mobile payment machines were installed in local Macau stores to encourage more Chinese tourists to make purchases, and mobile payments accounted for more than half of Chow Tai Fook Jewellery store sales in Macau and Hong Kong in the first quarter of 2018.
Meanwhile, the report states that consumption patterns by Chinese tourists remain largely unchanged from the previous year, with the top three expenditure categories remaining as shopping accounting for 25 per cent, accommodation accounting for 18 per cent and dining accounting for 16 per cent.