In an effort to further enhance digital payment options for consumers and merchants, Alipay and Mastercard have expanded their existing partnership to introduce a secure payment solution for international visitors in China. The service enables Mastercard cardholders to link their credit or debit cards to Alipay’s digital wallet, eliminating the need for separate prepaid accounts or complex setups.
By leveraging the widespread acceptance of Alipay’s QR code-based payment system, Mastercard cardholders from around the world can effortlessly transact at millions of locations throughout China. This development aligns with the latest travel trends, as leisure bookings have surged by approximately 31 percent in March 2023 compared to the same period in 2019, primarily driven by affluent travelers. The Chinese mainland is expected to benefit from this global tourism rebound.
Venetia Lee, General Manager of Ant Group Greater China International Business, emphasized the aim of providing inclusive digital payment services to consumers and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Lee believes that this collaboration between Alipay and Mastercard will enhance the experience of international travelers in China while also unlocking new business opportunities for merchants on the Alipay open platform, considering the anticipated rapid growth of global travel.
The partnership between Alipay and Mastercard not only facilitates convenient transactions for tourists but also offers benefits for merchants, particularly SMEs. With international visitors gaining access to China’s most widely accepted payment method, merchants can expect increased transaction opportunities and improved ease of doing business.
Overseas card transactions completed through the Alipay digital wallet are processed via Mastercard’s omnichannel payments platform. This seamless integration empowers merchants of all sizes to accept payments from customers worldwide, contributing to their growth while ensuring secure and reliable consumer transactions.
“This next step in the partnership with Ant Group exemplifies Mastercard’s long-term commitment to the China market, and the company’s continuous global effort to power economies and empower people,” said Dennis Chang, Executive Vice President and Division President, Greater China, Mastercard. “As travel and tourism rebound, Mastercard is delighted to partner with Alipay to enable cardholders worldwide to enjoy the ultimate in payments security, convenience, and peace of mind as they work, play, rest, and roam during their journeys to China.”
Moreover, Mastercard cardholders from South Korea and China’s Hong Kong SAR, Macao SAR, and Taiwan region can register on Mastercard Travel Rewards to enjoy additional privileges, including cashback rewards for various travel activities such as shopping, dining, sightseeing, and transportation, effective immediately.