Eraman Malaysia, the nation’s main travel retailer, has partnered with Alipay, as it improves its services to Chinese shoppers.
Alipay, operated by Ant Financial Services Group and part of China’s Alibaba Group, is the largest online and mobile payment platform and Eraman hopes to tap the 520 million-strong Alipay active user base via the partnership.
Around 4.5 million of Alipay’s Chinese tourists travel to Malaysia annually, which mean those visiting Eraman outlets will be able to pay with their Alipay personal QR code via their smart phone.
The contactless payment is integrated into the merchant portfolio of Maybank and CIMB Bank Bhd, Malaysia’s two largest financial services providers. It uses the in store online payment solution at all Eraman outlets nationwide.
According to Eraman, the technology will improve Chinese travellers’ shopping experience at the airports.
“Security and speed are important to us as we look to enable our Chinese travellers to walk into our outlets while travelling abroad and pay for purchases with the Alipay – just like they do in China. This Alipay in store payment will act as the settlement, allowing Chinese travellers to pay for their transactions in Yuan without having concerns on the exchange rate. This is done through a simple swipe and barcode-scanning method,” said Malaysia Airports (Niaga) General Manager Zulhikam Ahmad.
“All Eraman retail outlets in KLIA and klia2 including duty free emporium and lifestyle stores began accepting Alipay in June 2017. However, Eraman food and beverage and retails outlets in Kota Kinabalu, Kuching, Penang, Langkawi International Airport and Labuan Airport have begun to accept Alipay since the end of August. In China, this payment system is a way of life for shopping and many other activities, and given the growing number of Chinese travellers here, we are hoping for a high uptake,” added Zulhikam.
Malaysia is ranked third in the region after Thailand and Singapore for the number of Chinese visitors it attracts each year.
Alipay has seen rapid expansion in 2017. In August, the payment provider inked an agreement with Singapore digital payment provider CCPay to offer cashless payment services to Singaporean retailers.
Earlier in the year, it expanded into North American travel retail and later announced it had signed a deal with six major banks in Malaysia, with the goal of making Alipay a payment option across the Southeast Asian nation by 2018.