To attract Chinese travelers visiting the U.S., GUESS?, Inc. has partnered with Alipay to bring the payment option into select brick-and-mortar stores across GUESS' brands. With the tie-up, customers will be able to use the app in more than 50 locations such as New York, Las Vegas and California, the retailer said in an announcement.
“GUESS is a globally recognized brand that Chinese consumers seek out when visiting the U.S., and we are thrilled to simplify their checkout experience in GUESS stores,” Alipay Americas President Souheil Badran said in the announcement. “By enabling these travelers to pay using the Alipay app, we are ensuring that they will have the best shopping experience, unimpeded by any language or payment barriers.”
The deal also provides marketing for GUESS stores: Chinese travelers can locate nearby GUESS locations with the app’s geolocation-based “Discover” function. In addition, consumers can make purchasing decisions and receive promotional information through the app.
Alipay, owned by China’s Alibaba Group and operated by affiliate FinTech giant Ant Financial, boasted more than 500 million registered users as of 2017, and plans to grow that number to exceed two billion within the next 10 years as it expands its global reach. It powers hundreds of millions of transactions per day.
Although building a worldwide digital payments empire is certainly a worthy goal, and well within Alipay’s reach, the company has said it’s not looking to oust competitors like Apple Pay and Android Pay from their home turf. Rather, it aims to create a seamless payments experience for Chinese citizens traveling abroad. Alipay has been around for more than a decade now, and its users are accustomed to paying for everything with their phones. When those users leave China, they often struggle to adapt to paying with cash or a credit card.
Alipay acceptance has exploded across the globe in recent years. The payment method was accepted in 70 countries and supports transactions in 14 major currencies, it was reported in 2017. Here are some of the places where Chinese tourists can now leverage their favorite mobile payment tech.