Alipay has revealed that it had a pretty good summer, with consumer spending surging over the last two months.
“China is just back from a two-month summer holiday, where millions traveled abroad for a long-awaited vacation. With Alipay’s growing presence outside of the Chinese mainland, overseas Alipay spending skyrocketed this summer compared to last year’s figures,” Ant Financial, which owns and operates Alipay, wrote in a press release.
The company revealed that Alipay processed 2.6 times as many in-store overseas transactions this summer compared to summer 2017. In addition, Asia dominated the list of Top 10 countries and regions in terms of summertime transactions using Alipay, with Hong Kong at No. 1, followed by Thailand and South Korea.
The data also showed that the number of Alipay transactions in Russia went up over 5,000 percent, as many Chinese travelers journeyed to the country for this year’s World Cup. In addition, countries in Northern and Western Europe, including Denmark, Luxembourg, Norway, Sweden and Switzerland, boasted double-digit growth in Alipay transaction volume.
And as far as actual spending goes, the average amount per user increased 43 percent to RMB 2,955 (US$432) from last year’s RMB 2,073 (US$303). Chinese consumers spent the most when visiting France at RMB 11,386 (US$1,666), followed by South Korea and Denmark.
Earlier this month, Alipay announced, via a partnership with tax refund agency Global Tax Free (GTF), it now offers the “world’s first paperless mobile tax refund function in South Korea.” Chinese tourists can claim tax refunds via their mobile apps, and can skip tax refund counters altogether. “After scanning their passports at self-service kiosks prior to leaving South Korea, Chinese tourists can use the Alipay mobile app to scan eligible tax refund receipts within 90 days of purchasing and receive RMB refunds immediately,” Alipay said.
In this latest report, Alipay noted that, of the more than 80 airports that support instant tax refunds via Alipay, airports in South Korea recorded the highest amount of money refunded, followed by airports in Europe.