Alipay Golden Week 2019: Malaysia yet to hit potential in Chinese tourist transactions

  • Overseas spending through Alipay by Chinese continues to increase
  • Malaysian merchants need to tap mobile payments to seize greater opportunity

KLIA remained among the most popular destinations in Malaysia with Chinese tourists using Alipay.

Malaysia retained its position among the Top 10 Golden Week destinations for Chinese tourists during China’s recent Golden Week holiday, which took place between 1 and 7 October. During this period, the volume of Alipay transactions in Malaysia were the fourth highest globally and second only to Thailand within Southeast Asia and ahead of Singapore.

According to Alipay, the world’s largest mobile payment and lifestyle platform operated by Ant Financial Services Group, Malaysia recorded a 1.4x increase in transaction volume this year compared to 2018, while average spend per user was RMB1,339 (RM789). The most popular spending destinations were Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA), convenience stores and departmental stores.

“Malaysia remains a popular destination for Chinese tourist, but it has yet to fulfil its potential. This is evident in the growth numbers we see in terms of transaction volume – yet the average spend amount per user is lower than the global average, mainly due to the locations where mobile payments are accepted. There is an opportunity here that businesses can tap to drive greater sales, as more than 90% of Chinese tourists have stated their willingness to spend more in stores accepting mobile payments.[1] When Malaysian merchants increasingly embrace mobile payments, there will be greater opportunity to attract even more Chinese tourists and we expect that yearly transaction volume and average spend per user to rise,” said Cherry Huang, general manager, Cross-border Business for South and Southeast Asia, Alipay.

The week-long holiday celebrated across China resulted in a year-on-year increase for global overseas spend through the Alipay app, with average spend per user increasing by 15% globally to RMB2,500 (RM1,465) alongside a 10% growth in total transaction volume.

Some interesting data points include:

  • The number of users born in the 2000s who used Alipay when travelling abroad increased by 130%, compared to the same period last year. At the same time, the number of users born before the 1960s increased by 30%.
  • Chinese tourists crave unique travel experiences. The sale of “durian experience” packages in Thailand and Malaysia increased by 60% compared to the same period last year.
  • More than 300,000 merchants in 55 countries and regions participated in Alipay’s Golden Week campaign this year. More than 1 million e-gift packs were collected by users via a scan of the promotion QR code during the first 4 days of this year’s Golden Week.

More information on the top 10 Golden Week 2019 destinations by Alipay transaction volumes are as in the table below:

Top 10 Golden Week destinations by transaction volume

2019

 

2018

Japan

1

Thailand

Thailand

2

Japan

Republic of Korea

3

Republic of Korea

Malaysia

4

Malaysia

Australia

5

Australia

Singapore

6

Singapore

The Philippines

7

France

Canada

8

United States

Cambodia

9

United Kingdom

United Kingdom

10

Canada

 

[1] 2018 Trends for Mobile Payment in Chinese Outbound Tourism, Nielsen and Alipay

 
 
 
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