Mobile payments preferred, says Nielsen/Alipay survey

Chinese tourists are taking their cashless lifestyle overseas, preferring mobile payments for shopping, says a new Nielsen/Alipay survey.

Their joint Outbound Chinese Tourism and Consumption Trends: 2017 Survey provides analysis and insights into consumption and payment behaviours as well as assessing trends. Unlike similar studies, the report focuses on the use of mobile payment platforms by Chinese tourists travelling overseas.

A growing number of Chinese tourists expect they will use mobile payments when travelling, says the survey, which includes a case study on mobile payment and lifestyle platform Alipay.

China National Tourism Administration statistics show that Chinese tourists made 131 million trips overseas last year, an increase of 7 per cent from 2016. Data from the International Association of Tour Managers shows that overseas travel spending by Chinese tourists reached US$261 billion in 2016, up 4.5 per cent year-on-year, and ranking first worldwide.

Key findings of the survey include:

● On average, Chinese tourists who took part in the survey visited 2.1 countries or regions in 2016-17, and expect to visit an average of 2.7 countries or regions this year. Chinese tourists spend an average of $762 a head on shopping while non-Chinese tourists spend an average of $486.

● Mobile payment is gaining momentum, with 65 per cent of Chinese tourists using mobile platforms while abroad, nearly six times that of non-Chinese tourists (11 per cent). They primarily use mobile payments for shopping, dining and visits to tourist attractions.

● More than 90 per cent of Chinese tourists surveyed say they would use mobile payments if more overseas merchants accept it.

● The habit of using mobile payments in China, convenience and extra discounts are key factors for Chinese travellers to use mobile payment overseas, while limited merchant coverage overseas is cited as the biggest obstacle.

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