(Yicai Global) Jan. 23 -- Chinese overseas tourists used mobile payment platforms to complete close to one-third of their transactions in 2018, according to a joint report from market researcher Nielsen and Alipay, the world's largest player in mobile fintech.
Survey respondents indicated that they paid for 32 percent of their transactions using their phones, according to the 2018 mobile payments trends report. The proportion of overseas tourists using mobile payments increased four percentage points to 69 percent on an annual basis.
Mobile payment usage among Chinese people abroad was not limited by age, the report found. While the adoption of new technologies may seem more prevalent among China's young consumers, some 68 percent of Chinese outbound tourists born between 1970 and 1979 used mobile payments last year while the importance of Visa card acceptance when choosing tourism destinations dropped compared with 2017.
Chinese tourists conducted 140 million outbound trips last year, an annual jump of 13.5 percent, according to the latest statistics from the China Tourism Academy.
The survey also shows that mobile payment convenience spurs spending among Chinese tourists overseas. Some 94 percent of Chinese tourists prefer mobile payments if local merchants provide a wide range of mobile payments.
Mobile payments not only make Chinese consumers' experience easier when abroad but also boost the performance of local stores. Nearly 60 percent of surveyed merchants said that their foot traffic and sales increased after adopting Alipay.
China's mobile payment services are spreading overseas. Some 58 percent of merchants in Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand have adopted mobile payments, among which close to three-quarters use Chinese mobile platforms. The number was 12 percent in 2016. These merchants adopt Chinese mobile payment apps because they understand how frequently Chinese tourists use these apps, according to the report.
Alipay services for Chinese tourists cover over 40 countries and regions and support tax rebates at more than 80 airports worldwide.