Retail in Asia


Korean e-wallets partner with Alipay+ to promote cashless travel

Leading mobile payment providers across Asia announce an integration of Alipay+ cross-border digital payment in South Korea in an effort to jointly promote cashless travel in the country.

Users of e-wallets including AlipayHK, GCash (the Philippines), Touch ‘n Go eWallet (Malaysia), and TrueMoney (Thailand) are able to pay at over 120,000 merchants using their local mobile payment apps when traveling in South Korea.

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This collaboration marks the first time for leading mobile payment providers from Southeast Asia and Hong Kong to extend the availability of their services in South Korea through Alipay+. The initial phase of the merchant roll-out covers major tourist activities including payments for taxis, duty free shops, convenience stores, and food and beverage chains.

Introduced by Ant Group, Alipay+ is a suite of global cross-border digital payments and marketing solutions, businesses to process a wide range of mobile payment methods and better serve regional and global consumers through simple technical adaption.

Commenting on the collaboration, Danny Chung, General Manager of Ant Group Korea, Australia, and New Zealand, said: “It is our pleasure to connect merchants in Korea with a variety of mobile payment methods, enabling Asian tourists to pay with convenience and simplicity in Korea using their preferred home e-wallets.”

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As the theme of this year’s World Tourism Day is ‘Rethinking Tourism’, Alipay+ has been striving to achieve the same goal by supporting a cashless and smart travel experience. Through innovation and digitalization, we hope Alipay+ can play its role in the transformation of tourism towards a crucial pillar of development.”

The partnership between Alipay+ and Asia’s e-wallet leaders comes as international travel across Asia continues to rebound. In early September, South Korea lifted the requirement for pre-travel Covid-19 tests for inbound travelers, following a decision to remove all quarantine requirements for foreign arrivals regardless of vaccination status.

“With South Korea being one of the most popular destinations for Filipinos, we are delighted that our customers will be able to maximize their GCash app during their travels. This collaboration with Alipay+ provides our users the convenience they need to easily transact and manage their expenses with GCash,” said Martha Sazon, President and CEO Mynt, which operates GCash, “This innovative partnership aligns with our vision of financial inclusion and is a huge step towards building a cashless ecosystem, worldwide.”

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South Korea’s long-term popularity as a destination for travel, shopping, and k-pop makes it a top choice for international tourists as travel in Asia revitalizes. According to statistics by the Korea Tourism Organization, over 800,000 foreign tourists visited South Korea during the first half of 2022, representing an increase of 92.8 percent compared to the same period last year. Tourists from ASEAN countries, including the Philippines, Thailand, and Malaysia, topped the inbound arrivals to South Korea, accounting for 30.3 percent of the total.