Alipay, the payment service of Alibaba and UniCredit, the Italian bank, has inked a new partnership that enables Chinese tourists in Italy to pay for goods and services via the Alipay app.
According to a report, the two are using infrastructure from SIA to enable Alipay payments with 120,000 merchants in Italy. Of the merchants in Italy offering Alipay are drink vendor Eataly and Antonia, the fashion brand. Pisa Orologeria, Morellato, Fedon and Mitsukoshi are also coming on board in the coming weeks.
“Alipay has been following Chinese tourists to their favorite destinations across the world,” says Rita Liu, head of Alipay Europe, in the report. “It’s our honor to offer users Alipay’s payment and lifestyle services in Italy by cooperating with UniCredit.”
The report noted that in 2015 Chinese tourist spent an average of $215 billion around the globe. Meanwhile Italy is the second preferred destination for Chinese tourists in Europe and among the top 10 around the globe.
“The seamless in-app payment and marketing solutions provided by Alipay creates a cashless, efficient and productive way to do business, removing language, currency and cultural barriers between Italian merchants and Chinese tourists,” said Gianni Franco Papa, UniCredit general manager. “We are the only Italian bank which enables merchants to accept payments from Chinese visitors via the Alipay app, enlarging their business potential. The partnership has been signed for Italy, but we are already considering the possibility to extend this service to other UniCredit countries.”
In January Helsinki Airport in Finland became one of the first airports in Europe to now enable Alipay. According to a press release, Finavia, which operates the Helsinki Airport, said the move to support Alipay is in response to a rapid increase in the number of Chinese passengers at the Helsinki Airport. By enabling AliPay, Finavia said it will improve the service experience at the airport for Chinese travelers.
“Chinese passengers are the most rapidly growing customer group at Helsinki Airport and the group that uses the most money. We work hard to offer them the best possible service experience. Familiar and easy payment options increase the feeling of smooth and safe travel for Chinese passengers,” said Finavia’s Elena Stenholm, director of commercial services at Helsinki Airport, in the press release.