Chinese tourists are more and more likely to travel abroad. They were more than 131 million last year, and this figure increases by 7% each year! Indeed, the purchasing power of the inhabitants has increased considerably since the development of China. In addition, the government encouraged this trend by giving them two weeks of paid leave. That’s why they can afford to travel more and spend more once there! In 2016, Chinese tourists spent a total of about $ 260 million.
The Chinese have for the most part a real fascination for the West, especially Europe. That’s why those are their favorite destinations for the holiday! These trips are milestones in their lives, for which they are willing to spend a lot. France has attracted this year not far from 2 million tourists. All of them spent more than 9 billion euros in total. This figure is expected to reach 5 million by 2020.
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However, the Chinese have their own habits of consumption. In their country, the vast majority of payments are made through mobile payment services: Alipay or WeChat Pay. Alipay has 520 million users representing a payment volume of more than 800 billion euros. WeChat Pay leads the game with 900 million users and 1.5 trillion euros of traffic.
This practice is truly part of their daily lives. They use it to pay for their shopping as well as to pay their bills. This is a very convenient way to settle for those smartphone addicts’ consumers!
The digitization of every purchase in China
Since the digitization of every purchase in China, the Chinese carry very little cash with them. They are really not used to that. As there is almost no place that refuses mobile payment in China. That’s why they are increasingly looking for this kind of payment service when they are traveling abroad. However, these services are still hard to find in other countries! Yet this would be a decisive factor in their purchase decision. Because they would be more willing to go into a shop that offers this kind of services and would recommend it for sure to their relatives or to their friends on WeChat! In the United States, Alipay has already been installed in 180,000 shops. But it’s still pretty rare in other Western countries.
According to a study by Nielsen and Alipay, 93% of tourists chose mobile payment as their favorite payment. But what is really interesting for your business is that 91% said they would be willing to spend more money abroad more easily if the seller accepts Alipay or WeChat payments. Knowing that the Chinese are the biggest spender tourists in the world, this can only be an advantage for your brand.
Alipay / WeChat Pay: big issue for traders
For these reasons, more and more stores have decided to offer these services. While only 0.5 out of 10 Chinese tourists’ payments were made by mobile payment 2 years ago. This figure now stands at 2.8 out of 10. The percentage of cash payment has dropped at the same time. The Chinese definitely prefer the use of their mobile application to pay for their purchases. But what is the reason?
The favorite payment method of the Chinese: why?
The main reason why the Chinese prefer to use these mobile payment applications is that of the feeling of security that it brings them! These applications are the ones they use every day, so they trust their effectiveness. While abroad, the risks that their credit card payments will not work are also higher.
In addition, the Chinese tended to carry a lot of cash on them while traveling in Europe. They quickly became the favorite target of pick-pockets. But they cannot be stolen on Alipay or WeChat! Moreover, even if their smartphone is getting robbed, only a secret code or the fingerprint of the holder can validate the payment.
Another advantage of this type of payment is to easily trace purchases: where? when? how? how much? Everything is saved. In case of problems, the receipt is registered in digital format.
We understand why the Chinese prefer to use this system both at home and abroad. Offering this payment option guarantees you better credibility with Chinese tourists.
Which traders are most concerned?
Since 50% of luxury sales in Europe come from Asian tourism, luxury brands would be well advised to offer these payment services. 31% of Chinese travelers will spend on luxury boutiques, 47% in major retailers, and 61% in duty-free shops.
In addition, it is in this kind of shop that the bills are the most expensive. It is therefore more reassuring for Chinese tourists to pay with ease with Alipay or WeChat Pay!
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