Finavia’s Helsinki Airport has become one of Europe’s first to use the Chinese-friendly AliPay mobile payment application in an effort to encourage more spending at the location.
The familiar payment method is expected to encourage more Chinese passengers to spend with increasing confidence at the location, following the adoption of the scheme by the airport’s first retailers last month.
“Chinese passengers are the most rapidly growing customer group at Helsinki Airport and the group that use the most money. We work hard to offer them the best possible service experience.” — Finavia
“Familiar and easy payment options increase the feeling of smooth and safe travel for Chinese passengers,” says Finavia’s Elena Stenholm, Director of Commercial Services at Helsinki Airport.
“As far as we know, the only other airports accepting AliPay are Münich and Frankfurt. Seven commercial service points have now adopted it at Helsinki Airport and many others are interested. China UnionPay is already available at most airport outlets, adds Stenholm.
Right now, AliPay can now be used to pay for goods and services at the airport’s Iittala, M-Box, Finspiration, Lindroos and Moomin shop outlets and Finavia says it hopes to have all of the airport’s commercial operators accepting AliPay.
As reported before, AliPay is a part of world’s largest online trading company Alibaba. AliPay is China’s leading mobile payment giant which has approximately 400m users according to its own website.
This development at Helsinki follows the fast rise of Chinese passenger numbers in recent years, with numbers expected to continue increasing for both transfers and overnight stays in Finland.
In Finland, Lapland is a particular attraction for Chinese tourists. Alibaba’s travel service provider AliTrip has announced that it will bring 50,000 Chinese tourists to Rovaniemi during 2017.
Finavia has responded by bringing Chinese-speaking service guides to Helsinki Airport and by adding signs in Chinese.
In autumn 2016, the staff exchange programme between Finavia and Beijing Airport helped increase knowledge of the Chinese service culture and the needs of Chinese travellers.
Helsinki Airport also has an account with Chinese social media channel Weibo and an account will also be opened with this company in 2017. Weibo has approximately 300m and WeChat more than 800m active monthly users.
Meanwhile, Helsinki Airport currently claims to be the leading hub for air traffic between Europe and Asia and claims to offer the fastest and shortest route between the continents.
(Source: TR Business)