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Commonwealth Bank targets Chinese tourists with Alipay integration

The Commonwealth Bank has announced it will begin accepting payments through Alipay, the world’s largest mobile and online payment platform, through its Albert payment devices, and is the first of the major four banks to do so.

According to CBA, Alipay will be available for in-store payments in what will be the largest on-boarding of local businesses to the Alipay platform – with 94,000 Albert devices currently in service across Australia.

“We are thrilled to be the first major bank to provide Alipay as a payment option for customers,” CBA executive general manager business customer solutions Clive Van Horen said.

“We are constantly working on payment solutions that offer flexibility and choice for our customers.”

Alipay country manager for Australia and New Zealand George Lawson said that Australian business have been calling for banks to partner with Alipay, and that the move will drive acceptance so that Chinese customers can use a payment method that is familiar to them.

“Banks are pivotal to Alipay’s expansion in Australia, and the fact that CBA has a growing market share in business banking customers, means we can now switch on our technology for thousands of merchants simultaneously through their existing Albert devices,” Lawson said.

“With the festive season fast approaching, businesses that use Alipay will be best placed to attract additional sales in what is a busy travel period for Chinese customers.”

Businesses can now start accepting Alipay through the ePay app on their Albert device, which allows the use of location-based promotional campaigns to Alipay wallet users.

“The fact that this is now available in time for the peak travel season and Chinese New Year, local businesses will stand to significantly benefit form the direct targeted access to Alipay users driving increased footfall to stores, higher overall sales and better marketing opportunities over the coming months in particular,” ePay country manager for Australia Matthew Blayney said.

Chinese tourists are fast becoming a large market for Australian businesses, with the Australian Bureau of Statistics revealing that Chinese tourists had outnumbered those from New Zealand for the first time in 2018 earlier in the year.

2017-18 was the eighth straight year of double-digit growth increases to the number of Chinese tourists, according to the Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics’ International Airline Activity report.

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