Ant Group’s new mobile wallets, AlipayHK, Kakao Pay, and Touch ‘n Go eWallet, are improving the Philippines’ travel experience and helping the country recover.

Three more mobile wallets for payments have been launched in the Philippines by Ant Group, the company behind Alipay+, a global cross-border digital payment and marketing solution.

These mobile wallets, AlipayHK (Hong Kong Special Administrative Region), Kakao Pay (South Korea), and Touch ‘n Go eWallet (Malaysia), have now joined Alipay (Chinese mainland) as payment options allowed by Filipino shops since 2017.

By providing a smooth and cashless payment option for their everyday purchases, this growth of accepted mobile wallets is poised to completely change the trip experience for tourists from these regions. These features are anticipated to make foreign travel in the Philippines more convenient given the shift toward digital payment methods around the world.

Accepting these three new mobile wallets coincides with the Philippines’ strong tourism recovery. Over three million tourists visited the Philippines between 1 January and 19 July 2023, according to the Department of Tourism (DOT), indicating a solid recovery trend.

Revenues from inbound tourism are expected to increase by more than 500% between January 1 and June 30, 2023, as compared to the same time last year. The leading foreign tourists to the Philippines are still South Koreans, with Malaysia placing among the top 10.

Alternatives for travelers

Before the pandemic in 2019, the two most popular cities in the Philippines were Manila and Cebu, where businesses may now accept Alipay+. Notably, the first half of 2023 saw a staggering 219% rise in passenger volume compared to the same period in the previous year, according to Mactan-Cebu International Airport (MCIA).

The airport has incorporated Alipay+ into 90% of its merchants in response to the increased preference for digital purchases among travelers, guaranteeing visitors a digitally improved, cashless experience from the minute they arrive in Cebu.

Athanasios Titonis, the CEO in charge of MCIA, a division of Aboitiz InfraCapital, described the company’s dedication to provide travelers convenience and ease of travel through smooth operations and top-notch services.

When using MCIA, our passengers now have more payment alternatives and unparalleled convenience thanks to the integration of Alipay+.

MCIA is proud to be the second-largest airport in the Philippines and the second-busiest airport in the world, handling over 11 million people yearly. With its advantageous position and first-rate amenities, MCIA aims to become the main tourism entry point for the Philippines by providing a remarkable travel encounter that links the world to the archipelago.

Working together with others

In order to boost digital travel and travel recovery, Dr. Cherry Huang, general manager of Alipay+ Offline Merchant Services at Ant Group, emphasized the importance of working with regional partners to onboard additional merchants throughout the Philippines, particularly local small enterprises.

“We think that the adoption of digital technologies and related solutions will change how travelers interact with enterprises involved in travel, including hotels, airports, restaurants, and retail outlets. Our current priority is to collaborate with more partners to sign up more local small businesses for Alipay+ in the Philippines while also promoting digital travel and travel recovery.

Through faster integration and simple technical adaption, Alipay+, which was launched by Ant Group in 2020, aims to enable local businesses, particularly small and medium-sized ones, to process multiple mobile payment methods and access over 1.4 billion regional and global consumers. Alipay+ is widely accepted outside of the Philippines in places like the Chinese mainland, Macao SAR, Singapore, Thailand, Japan, and South Korea, among others.

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