Ant Group, the operator of Alipay+, a global cross-border digital payments and marketing solution, has introduced three additional mobile wallets for payments in the Philippines.
These mobile wallets, AlipayHK (Hong Kong SAR), Kakao Pay (South Korea), and Touch ‘n Go eWallet (Malaysia), now join Alipay (Chinese mainland) as accepted payment methods by Filipino merchants since 2017.
This expansion of accepted mobile wallets is set to transform the travel experience for visitors from these regions, offering a seamless and cashless payment option for their day-to-day transactions. With the global shift towards digital payment solutions, these additions are expected to enhance the convenience of international travel in the Philippines.
The move to accept these three new mobile wallets comes as the Philippines experiences a robust resurgence in tourism. According to the Department of Tourism (DOT), over three million tourists visited the Philippines from 1 January to 19 July 2023, signifying a strong recovery trend.
Inbound tourism receipts for the period from January 1 to June 30 2023, have also surged by more than 500 per cent compared to the same period in the previous year. South Koreans continue to lead the list of international visitors to the Philippines, with Malaysia ranking in the top 10.
Options for travellers
Alipay+ is currently available for use by merchants in Manila and Cebu, the two most visited cities in the Philippines prior to the pandemic in 2019. Notably, Mactan-Cebu International Airport (MCIA) has reported a whopping 219 per cent increase in passenger numbers during the first half of 2023 compared to the same period in the previous year.
In response to the growing preference for digital transactions among travelers, the airport has integrated Alipay+ into 90 per cent of its merchants, ensuring a digitally-enhanced, cashless experience for tourists from the moment they arrive in Cebu.
Athanasios Titonis, the CEO assigned to MCIA, part of Aboitiz InfraCapital, outlined its commitment to providing convenience and ease of travel through seamless processes and world-class services.
“The integration of Alipay+ gives our passengers that exceptional convenience and more payment options when they travel through MCIA.”
MCIA holds the distinction of being the second-largest airport in the Philippines, serving over 11 million passengers annually, and ranking as the second busiest in the country. With its strategic location and top-notch facilities, MCIA aspires to establish itself as the primary tourism gateway for the Philippines, offering an exceptional travel experience that connects the world to the archipelago.
Collaborating with partners
Dr. Cherry Huang, general manager of Alipay+ Offline Merchant Services at Ant Group, underscored the focus on collaborating with local partners to onboard more merchants across the Philippines, particularly local small businesses, to promote digital travel and travel recovery.
“We believe that digital adoption and solutions will shape travellers’ expectations, particularly in the way they engage travel-related businesses, from airports and hospitality to F&B and retail stores. Our focus now is to work with more partners to onboard more merchants with Alipay+ across the Philippines, particularly local small businesses, and promote digital travel and travel recovery.”
Introduced by Ant Group in 2020, Alipay+ seeks to enable local businesses, especially small and medium-sized enterprises, to process various mobile payment methods and reach over 1.4 billion regional and global consumers through streamlined integration and straightforward technical adaptation. Beyond the Philippines, Alipay+ enjoys widespread acceptance in destinations including the Chinese mainland, Macao SAR, Singapore, Thailand, Japan, and South Korea, among others.