Alipay, the mobile and online payment platform operated by Ant Financial Services, announced on Wednesday (Sept. 5) that it will collaborate with a wider range of local Japanese partners to build a cashless environment for tourists coming to Japan, in particular for the Tokyo Olympic Games in 2020.
In a press release, Alipay said that by collaborating with Japanese partners, it will enable a large number of visitors coming from China to experience easy payment methods while providing an opportunity for Japanese merchants to boost sales.
“Alipay is dedicated to enhancing user experience and creating value for small and micro businesses through technology. The Tokyo Olympics and the hike in visitors that this will bring is a good target for us, to ensure that the Alipay platform is the bridge between inbound visitors and local merchants here in Japan,” said Eric Jing, executive chairman and CEO of Ant Financial, in the press release. “It is also important that we are collaborating with partners not only in the metropolitan areas and big cities, but also in smaller cities with popular tourist attractions. We look forward to working with a wide range of Japanese partners to achieve this ambition, and in doing so contribute in some way to driving the local economy of areas across Japan.”
According to Alipay, the number of Chinese tourists who visit Japan each year has been increasing from one year to the next. The company said that nearly 7.35 million people came to Japan from China, marking 15.4 percent year-over-year growth. Alipay said the trend is likely to continue, expected to peak as visitors are attracted to the international 2020 Olympic Games.
At the same time that Chinese tourists are visiting Japan at an increasing rate, Alipay said the consumption on the part of each Chinese Alipay user in Japan from July to the end of August reached close to $569, which is a 52 percent increase from the prior year, with total transaction volume growing by 165 percent.