CBA Targets Chinese Visitors With Alipay Deal


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Commonwealth Bank is pitching for more business from the growing number of Chinese tourists and students coming to Australia, with a new deal with the mobile payments division of e-commerce giant Alibaba.

CBA’s group executive, institutional banking and markets, Kelly Bayer Rosmarin, told The Australian the company had signed a memorandum of understanding with Alipay to work ­together to make it easier for ­Australian consumers to make purchases through the Alibaba website.

She said CBA and Alipay would also be working together on an easy-to-use payment solution to allow Chinese tourists and students in Australia to use Alipay to buy goods in Australian stores. “It will give our retailer customers access to a large and growing stream of Chinese who are buying goods here,” she said.

“We want to encourage more Chinese tourists to visit Australia and to shop while they are here.”

The deal is the first between Alipay and an Australian bank.

Alipay has 450 million active users and handles more than 380 million transactions a day, mostly in China.

But the mobile phone-based payment system is expanding internationally as more Chinese travel overseas and Alipay steps up its international acceptance.

“More than 120 million Chinese travel abroad every year, ­including more than a million who come to Australia,” Douglas Feagin, the head of Alipay International said on a visit to Australia on Friday.

“We want Alipay users to enjoy the kind of convenience they are used to at home,” he said.

Mobile payments in China have increased exponentially in recent years.

“Last year, China overtook the US as the world’s largest mobile payments market, with a transaction volume of $US235 billion ($309bn),” he said.

“By 2020, China is expected to process $US6.3 trillion in mobile payments.”

Ms Rosmarin said about 19,000 Chinese tourists visited Australia each week, spending an average of almost $8000 a person.

“Chinese tourists are spending more than $2.5bn a year in ­Australia. The more we make it easier for them to spend, the more it will grow.”

She said the deal with Alipay meant the Chinese mobile payment application would be available on CBA’s point-of-sale platforms, allowing Chinese consumers to make purchases without having to pay currency conversion fees.

Mr Feagin said Alipay would also be working with retailers to improve the user experience for Chinese tourists in Australia.

He said this could include offering special promotions from retailers for Chinese visitors. It could also include connecting with Chinese tourists while they were in Australia and sending them information about nearby shops and attractions.

He said it would also make it easier for Australians to shop on Alibaba website Alibaba Express.

He said he expected Australian consumers would be a part of this year’s November 11 shopping spree on Alibaba, which has become the largest single online shopping day in the world.

Online Source: The Australian.

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