Ant Group, the operator of Alipay+, announced that a total of four mobile wallets are now accepted in the Philippines.
These include AlipayHK (Hong Kong SAR), Kakao Pay (South Korea), Touch ‘n Go eWallet (Malaysia) and Alipay (Chinese mainland), which have been accepted by Filipino merchants since 2017.
This enables travellers from these regions to enjoy a cashless experience, using just their home mobile wallets to make payment, improving the travel experience as digital payment options like mobile wallets become the norm for day-to-day transactions.
The acceptance of three new mobile wallets, via Alipay+, comes as travellers return to the Philippines.
According to the Department of Tourism (DOT), more than 3 million tourists have visited the Philippines from January 1 to July 19, 2023, reflecting continued robust recovery.
The DOT also shared that inbound tourism receipts from January 1 to June 30, 2023, are more than 500% higher than the same period last year. South Koreans top the list of international visitors to the Philippines, while Malaysia ranks in the top 10.
Alipay+ is currently accepted by merchants in Manila and Cebu, the top two most visited cities in the Philippines pre-pandemic in 2019. In the first half of 2023, Mactan-Cebu International Airport (MCIA) saw a 219% increase in passengers compared to the same period last year.
In order to cater to the new expectations of digital-first travellers, the airport has integrated Alipay+ across 90% of its merchants, ensuring that tourists can enjoy a digitally-enhanced cashless experience from the moment they arrive in Cebu.
“At MCIA, we have always placed utmost importance on providing convenience and ease of travel through seamless processes and world-class services and amenities. The integration of Alipay+ gives our passengers that exceptional convenience and more payment options when they travel through MCIA,” Athanasios Titonis, Aboitiz InfraCapital CEO assigned to MCIA, said.
MCIA is the second largest airport in the Philippines with over 11 million passengers annually, making it the second busiest airport in the country. To date, MCIA is the first and only airport in the Philippines to receive the Airport Customer Experience (ACX) accreditation from the Airports Council International.
Commenting on this new development, Dr. Cherry Huang, GM of Alipay+ Offline Merchant Services at Ant Group, said: “The Philippines and its many islands, such as Cebu, have long been a favourite destination for Asian travellers and we look forward to working with our local partners to enhance their travel experience.
“We believe that digital adoption and solutions will shape travelers’ 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+ aims to enable local businesses, especially small and medium-sized businesses, to process a wide range of mobile payment methods and reach more than 1.4 billion regional and global consumers, through one-time integration and simple technical adaption.
In addition to the Philippines, Alipay+ is also widely accepted in destinations including the Chinese mainland, Macao SAR, Singapore, Thailand, Japan and South Korea among others.