North America’s largest shopping center and entertainment complex, West Edmonton Mall, is catering to Chinese visitors by accepting Alipay and WeChat Pay at Galaxyland amusement park, World Waterpark, Guest Services, Fantasyland Hotel, and WEM Inn.
WeChat Pay and Alipay are mobile-based payment platforms that are widely used by the Chinese populace. West Edmonton Mall has teamed up with Alpha Pay, an Alipay and WeChat pay service provider, to allow consumers to purchase admission to parks, pay for their stay at Fantasyland Hotel, or purchase WEM gift cards at Guest Services which can be used to make purchases within the Mall.
Several merchants in West Edmonton Mall have also begun using Alipay and WeChat pay at their point-of-sale. All retailers should consider it — Alipay has a “discover” function which allows travellers to locate merchants in the Mall that accept this form of payment. This solution also enables merchants to reduce friction in the check-out process, offer seamless payment experiences anywhere in the store, and engage consumers in new and innovative ways. The “Outbound Chinese Tourism and Consumption Trend: 2017 Survey” found that Chinese tourists use mobile payment overseas far more frequently than their non-Chinese counterparts, and over 90% Chinese tourists would use mobile payment overseas given the option.
Chinese tourists are big spenders, and good for business. The number of Chinese citizens traveling overseas has been steadily increasing year by year. According to statistics from the China National Tourism Administration, Chinese tourists travelled overseas on 131 million occasions in 2017, an increase of 7% from the previous year. Statistics from the International Tourism Association shows that the overseas spending by Chinese tourists last year was as high as $341 billion (CAD) in 2016, increasing 4.5% over the same period (year-on-year) and was ranked first among all tourists worldwide. With this growing trend, West Edmonton Mall believes that offering Chinese specific mobile payment options will deliver a superior customer experience for the changing behavior of today’s Chinese consumers.
As well, we’re told that several luxury retailers are expected to be moving into West Edmonton Mall in 2019, stay tuned for some big announcements.