The Chinese payments app has been moving its way into Taiwanese businesses since the start of the month.
Alipay, the financial side of Chinese giant corporation, Alibaba, has announced that almost 3,500 businesses in Taiwan now accept its mobile wallet app to complete payment transactions in supermarkets, department stores, chain stores, telecoms and even street vendors.
The official launch started at the beginning of December and the applications to take part have poured in.
According to the Ant Financial Global Business-Taiwan director, Ray Gu, the rising number of visitors to the country from mainland China have presented a considerable opportunity for the mobile wallet’s implementation from Alipay among larger and smaller businesses. Last year, an estimated 3.22 million tourists from mainland China visited Taiwan. That represented a rise of 47 percent in tourism from that country. By September, that figure had already reached 3.11 million visitors, so it is more than likely that last year’s tourism numbers will be left far behind this year.
Introducing the Alipay mobile wallet is expected to boost the popularity of digital payments in Taiwan.
According to the E.SUN Bank executive vice president of the digital business department, WInni Liu, bringing Alipay into the country is going to provide the country with a solid opportunity to promote the use of digital payment methods. E.SUN Bank is the Taiwanese partner of Ant Financial.
Liu explained that “Many local business, especially small ones, are conservative about digital payment. Now, in order to attract mainland customers, they began to use Alipay and get used to the service. Later they will be more open to other local payment platforms.”
That said, it has also been pointed out that people in Taiwan still primarily prefer to shop offline and use cash in order to pay for their purchases. This breaks with many of the trends in the region where e-commerce and digital payment methods are exploding in popularity. Gu pointed out that “The digital payment market in Taiwan is of great potential as about 70 percent of transactions here are still through cash.” This helps to show why the introduction of a mobile wallet from such a large name could be a game changer in the country’s mobile payments market.