Why Mobile Payments?
Connecting your business to a popular Chinese mobile payment platform gives you two powerful tools for attracting Chinese customers. First, it enables people with Chinese bank accounts to use the method of payment that they prefer and most trust. Second, it enables you to use an online portal to market directly to the smartphones of Chinese customers that use the popular mobile payment platforms.
What is Alipay and how do I use it?
The most popular mobile payment platform is called Alipay. It offers flexible payment point-of-sale (POS) solutions for your shop including a specific Alipay terminal, integration into your till scanner, and a roaming terminal that is useful for kiosks and outdoor services.
You can use Alipay to generate your own QR codes (i.e. specific promotions or vouchers) and then use your online portal to keep track of the performance of each specific QR. This is revolutionary because it you can easily and accurately monitor the effectiveness of each of your advertisements. For example, if you are offering a special promotion and advertising it in three places (a tour guide, your website, and a sign in your shop window) you can generate three separate QR codes for the same promotion. When the customers redeem their promotions/vouchers in your shop, your Alipay portal will identify and keep records of exactly which QR source the customer connected with. This gives you the potential to identify your most effective marketing channels.
Special incentives for merchants & customers
Cambridge China Centre partners with Cambridge BID (representing 1200+ local businesses) to offer special Alipay promotions throughout Cambridge. For example, we connect Cambridge to Alipay’s ‘RED PACKET’ incentives during Chinese New Year. This is a month-long global promotion in which Alipay users who scan your QR Code are awarded a random amount by Alipay (from £1 to £330 per user scan). The good news for merchants is that by promoting the ‘RED PACKET’ QR Code, you get as much commission from Alipay as your customers were awarded from Alipay!
Alipay users and tourism are quickly growing
There are more tourists from China than ever visiting Cambridge and the numbers are projected to keep rising. In 2017, Chinese tourists travelled overseas on 131 million occasions, an increase of 7% from the previous year (China National Tourism Administration). The overseas spending by Chinese tourists in that year was ranked highest of any nationality with a high of 261.1 billion U.S. dollars that increasing 4.5% throughout the year (International Tourism Association).
Chinese tourists have embraced mobile payments faster than any country, with nearly everyone preferring the convenience and layers of security with mobile payments over cash or cards. A survey by the China National Tourism Administration reveals that 90% Chinese tourists would prefer to use mobile payment overseas if given the option. Unfortunately, many Cambridge businesses are missing this opportunity to attract Chinese customers because they are not giving them the opportunity to use their preferred payment methods or marketing to them through the channels that they are used to using.
Cambridge China Centre helps local businesses get connected to Alipay. More than that, we regularly offer workshops, tutorials and assistance to the businesses that ask us to connect them to Alipay. We are proudly invested in Cambridge commerce and we want to help Cambridge businesses succeed.
Getting started with Alipay
Please email or call Cambridge China Centre and we will help you get connected. For your convenience, we have included links to a flowchart that clearly outlines the steps for registering. We have also provided a link to the Merchant Registration Form, which is the document that needs to be completed to begin. The registration process is quick and once we receive all of the paperwork and supporting documents, we can make an appointment to install Alipay at a time that is convenient for you.