Chinese tourists made more online payments in 2019: study

Online transactions increased among outbound Chinese travelers last year, while more overseas vendors are also accepting digital payments, according to a new white paper.

Chinese tourists abroad completed 3.4 out of ever 10 transactions via mobile payment in 2019, up from 3.2 in 2018, according to a white paper released by Nielsen and Alipay.

As many as 92 percent of Chinese tourists traveling to Europe said they would be more likely to pay with mobile phone if local merchants supported Chinese mobile payment.

The report covers 4,837 Chinese travelers and 547 overseas merchants, and shows that overseas merchants are actively exploring digital operations via Chinese mobile payments to increase sales and customer traffic.

In the UK and France, the percentage of Chinese tourists who used mobile payments increased to 65 percent in 2019, with per-capita mobile spending rising by about 10 percent.

Around 60 percent of UK merchants have adopted Chinese payment solutions since 2019, and mobile payment usage among Chinese tourists has picked up as well.

Some 78 percent of UK merchants surveyed said that they are likely to recommend Alipay to their industry peers in the future, especially to improve efficiency and turnover.

As many as 66 percent of local merchants hope to carry out more promotional and marketing activities by leveraging Chinese mobile payment platforms.

Travel destinations within a four-hour flight are still the most popular among Chinese tourists. 

Singapore, South Korea, Japan, Australia, France and Thailand are their top six destinations.

Mobile payment are used most often when consumers shop at duty-free stores, large discount retailers, and fashion and beauty stores.

The study suggests that Chinese tourists would also use online platforms to book travel products, tour guide services or accommodation online.