WHY IT RATES: Alipay is one of the most popular payment methods for Chinese travelers. —Janeen Christoff, TravelPulse Senior Writer
Alipay, the world’s leading digital payments platform, operated by Ant Financial Services Group, announced that it will partner with global restaurateur HMSHost to provide the Alipay mobile payment experience in many North American airports. Through this deployment, Chinese travelers visiting the U.S. and Canada will be able to pay using the Alipay app when making purchases at HMSHost-operated restaurants in most major airports across North America. Alipay is targeting late Q4 2018 for the first integration of HMSHost locations with the payment service.
“This is a key strategic partnership for Alipay as we grow our North American presence and help extend the Alipay experience to Chinese consumers visiting North America. We are thrilled to partner with HMSHost to provide Chinese consumers with a more familiar way to pay while dining at airports,” said Yulei Wang, General Manager, Alipay North America.
Alipay is China’s leading digital payment provider and the primary means of online and mobile payment for Chinese consumers. HMSHost operates a variety of proprietary and branded licensed restaurants in most major North American airports. A typical air traveler can be exposed to HMSHost’s signature service and brands several times during his or her travel journey.
“We are committed to providing service to make convenient and enjoyable experiences for all guests when they choose to dine with HMSHost. We are very excited about partnering with Alipay to expand the service we offer and to continue providing all consumers with their preferred payment options,” said Joy Butler, treasurer at HMSHost.
The U.S. and Canada are among the most popular destinations for Chinese travelers and students, with around four million visits and over half a million Chinese students per year. Approximately 91% of Chinese tourists said widespread availability of mobile payment systems such as Alipay would encourage them to spend more while traveling abroad, according to a Nielsen report.
SOURCE: HMSHost press release.