Wirecard, one of the leading providers of digital financial technology, is expanding its collaboration with Qatar Airways by partnering with Qatar Duty Free (QDF) to offer Alipay as a mode of payment from April in selected QDF retail outlets at Hamad International Airport (HIA) in Doha for Chinese travelers.
As a wholly owned retail subsidiary of Qatar Airways, QDF operates over 90 unique retail stores with over 185 points-of-sale (POS). After years of successful cooperation with Wirecard in the field of payment processing services since 2013, Qatar Airways and Wirecard have extended the partnership in order to capitalize on the worldwide tourism boom from China.
Due to its luxurious offerings and large brand portfolio, QDF is optimally positioned to attract Chinese tourists. Luxury goods such as handbags, shoes and apparel are the most in-demand products for Chinese travelers. By accepting Alipay payments, QDF is appealing to a large and fast-growing target group. With over 600 million active users in China, Alipay is the world’s largest mobile payment network, sharing approximately 54.1% of China’s mobile payment market by total transaction volume.
Qatar Airways operates daily flights to Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou, four times-weekly to Hangzhou, three times-weekly to Chongqing and Chengdu. Over the past few years, the Chinese outbound tourism in the State of Qatar has continuously increased, reaching 135 million travelers in 2016. Last year, the State of Qatar was granted Approved Destination Status (ADS) in China, allowing it to promote its tourism destinations within China. Recognizing this trend, Qatar Airways aims to offer its Chinese guests their familiar payment method.
Head of Qatar Duty Free, Mr. Thabet Musleh, said: “HIA is a world-class shopping destination, and it’s important to continue to provide our passengers with the best, most convenient shopping experience during their journey through the award-winning airport. The Chinese market is very important. Thanks to our strong partnership with Wirecard, we are able to keep these high standards and fulfil the needs of our Chinese customers by offering them their domestic payment method.”
Robert Gottinger, Head of Airline Sales at Wirecard, commented: “We are delighted to increase our long-term collaboration with Qatar Airways and we are looking forward to continue expanding it in future. By offering Alipay as a new payment method, Qatar Duty Free benefits from a whole marketing platform to target arriving passengers from China even better. Our experience through the collaboration with other airport retailers have shown that in the first three months since the launch of the new payment method, the average amount spent by Chinese tourists has increased by 92%.”
Hamad International Airport (HIA), the home of Qatar Duty Free (QDF), was ranked the world’s fourth ‘Best Airport for Shopping’ at the Skytrax World Airport Awards 2018 that took place in Stockholm on 21st March, up one place from last year. The Skytrax World Airport Awards are the most prestigious accolade for the airport industry, voted by customers in the largest annual global airport customer satisfaction survey.