UAE-headquartered Mashreq Bank, has agreed a partnership with Alipay, the world’s largest online and mobile payment platform operated by Ant Financial. By bringing Alipay to the UAE, Mashreq will enable visitors from China to carry out payments at merchant outlets using their Alipay digital wallets.
According to Dubai Tourism, UAE represents one of the fastest-growing tourist destinations for the Chinese, with a 41% increase in the number of Chinese visitors last year.
Recent developments like visa on arrival will add further impetus to the growing number of Chinese tourists in the country.
Alipay currently has over 600 million active users in China and almost all Chinese tourists travelling overseas are Alipay users.
Commenting on the launch, Pankaj Kundra, Head of Payments at Mashreq Bank said: “The UAE remains a popular tourist destination, having hosted an estimated 700,000 Chinese tourists in 2017 and growing at an exponential rate.
“The launch of Alipay allows retail merchants in the UAE target Chinese customers and offer them a seamless payment experience of using their Alipay digital wallets, something they are comfortable and familiar with.”
“At Mashreq we are constantly focused on expanding the scope of digital payment options for our merchant partners as well as customers. As one of the first banks to offer this service in the UAE, Mashreq ensures that retailers will benefit by attracting more Chinese customers with this unique payment solution”, added Kundra.
Li Wang, Head of Alipay EMEA said, “As the largest digital payment platform in China, Alipay not only supports cashless payment, but also an ideal marketing platform for overseas merchants to reach their potential customers in China, before and during their journey.
“Chinese visitors can receive location-based merchant information, collect exclusive coupons, and enjoy value-added services such as instant tax refund at airports. Alipay is excited to work with Mashreq and its merchants together to bring better experience to Chinese visitors.”