Integrated payments and marketing platform RiverPay has announced that it is facilitating payments through Alipay and WeChat Pay at Harrods’ Knightsbridge store in London, according to a press release.
RiverPay’s in-store payments system supporting Alipay and WeChat Pay has been integrated with Harrods’ existing payments infrastructure, allowing the famed retailer to further attract the growing and lucrative Chinese tourism market. VisitBritain is expecting 483,000 arrivals from China in 2019, with travelers from the country expected to spend more than £1 billion.
Data shows that Chinese consumers actually prefer using mobile payment and cashless transactions. Last year, more than two-thirds (69 percent) of Chinese travelers paid with their mobile phones, while 94 percent said they would be more willing to pay with their mobile phones if the method becomes more widely used abroad. In fact, 93 percent said they would likely increase their spending if a mobile payments option is available.
One place many Chinese tourists visit during trips to the U.K. is Harrods, which is the biggest and most iconic department store in Europe. With seven floors, 90,000 square meters (970,000 square feet) and 330 different departments, the store attracts around 15 million customers per year. It initially introduced the Alipay digital payments system late in 2016 and started adding WeChat Pay to its payments option portfolio during the 2018 Chinese Lunar New Year.
“Harrods is much more than a department store; it’s a destination unto itself for Chinese consumers,” Ryan Zheng, co-founder and CEO of RiverPay, said in the release. “The Harrods brand is highly-desirable and synonymous with premium, luxury and excellence. We are pleased to help enable even more convenience for Harrods Chinese clientele though RiverPay’s fast, secure and widely-compatible payments technologies. By expediting the connection to the top two mobile payment platforms from China, we are playing the role in enhancing the overall experience of Chinese consumers when shopping at the most sought-after shopping destination on the globe.”