UK retailers will be able to take full advantage of the rising number of Chinese tourists and their increased buying power
UK-based debit and credit card payment processor Barclaycard has recently announced a new agreement with Alipay, the Chinese digital payment service which is operated by Ant Financial, the payments affiliate of Alibaba.
Sources familiar with the matter said that with this deal, Barclaycard would enable retailers to accept Alipay as a payments method for transactions in stores across the U.K. The deal has apparently come after a 2-year long pilot and under the new agreement, retailers in UK will be able to take full advantage of the rising number of Chinese tourists and their increased buying power.
Barclaycard has stated that there are 393,000 Chinese residents in the UK, along with 95,000 Chinese students and lots of tourists visiting UK cities every year. As e-commerce is growing, this segment has become increasingly important for retailers in the country, especially the traditional ones. Reports estimate that Chinese visitors to the country will reach around 483,000 this year, a 43% rise from 2017.
Further, Chinese visitors are projected to spend over £1 billion in the year, representing a 50% increase during the period, the sources mentioned. Owing to this deal, UK retailers would supposedly not be required to change or replace their existing PoS systems for accepting in-store payment via Alipay, allowing them to capitalize on the augmented business from Chinese visitors.
Sources added that users of Alipay will also be able to search nearby retailers via the Alipay mobile app. Details like when the stores open, directions towards the stores and any discount offers will be listed on the app.
Rob Cameron, Barclaycard’s CEO and Global Head of Payment Acceptance, said the company’s clients have access to a growing variety of payment types, with each one having the ability to help them grow their market share by meeting customer needs. He remarked that the new deal with Alipay offers retailers a crucial tool to assist them in seizing revenue opportunities created by the growth of Chinese visitors to the country.