Chinese tourists and business travellers taking taxis in Australia will soon be able to pay their fare with Alipay, following a partnership between the payment platform’s operator Ant Financial Services and Cabcharge Australia.
ASX-listed Cabcharge payments are accepted by 22,000 vehicles, approximately 97 per cent of taxis in Australia.
The agreement will give drivers the ability to better service the lucrative Chinese tourism market, Cabcharge said, by allowing them to readily service Alipay’s active user base which is in excess of 520 million Chinese consumers.
“Cabcharge is an early adopter of Alipay in Australia and they understand that better servicing Chinese customers in market can lead to revenue growth. This technology will help Australian taxi drivers break-down language and currency barriers and limit anxieties that that may have stopped Chinese tourists from using taxis in the past,” said country manager of Alipay ANZ George Lawson.
Cabcharge also intends to utilise Alipay promotional features such as sending notifications to travellers as they land at airports or depart major sporting events.
“In recent years, there has been a notable shift away from traditional Chinese tourist groups to more independent travellers. This is a tremendous opportunity for the taxi industry and makes the acceptance of Alipay even more critical,” Lawson added.
“The nation’s taxis play a vital role in the overall experience Chinese tourists have in Australia. Making transport enjoyable and seamless can have a halo-effect on all aspects of our economy, as more Chinese tourists return home and share their positive experiences,” he said.
As of June last year, more than 1.2 million people from China had visited Australia, a 10 per cent rise on the previous year. Their spending locally also rose 10 per cent to $9.8 billion.
According to the Australia China Business Council more than 3.3 million Chinese tourists will be visiting Australia each year by 2026.
At the end of 2016 Alipay signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Commonwealth Bank of Australia to “work together on a simple payment solution that allows Chinese tourists and Chinese students to use Alipay in-store payments at Australian retailers” such as acceptance through the bank’s Albert point-of-sale tablet device.
A similar agreement was made between Alipay and Melbourne-based EFTPOS provider Quest, which began with a trial in Chemist Warehouse stores.
The Alipay Cabcharge integration follows the roll-out of the technology to taxis in New York and Los Angeles last year.
“Our strategic investment in technology has contributed to us remaining at the forefront of non-cash payment technologies in Australia. The acceptance of Alipay enables the Australian taxi industry to more effectively service Alipay’s growing user base in Australia,” said Andrew Skelton, Cabcharge CEO.
“Cabcharge’s partnership with Alipay is an example of our continued commitment to improve the passenger experience by making our payment services as seamless, secure and simple as possible,” Skelton added.