Alipay is partnering with the City of Melbourne to create a new mobile tool, aimed to support the city’s retail, hospitality and small businesses. Melbourne City Card also aims to connect the businesses with the ‘fast growing’ China tourism market.
The card, which was announced by the City of Melbourne, will introduce Chinese visitors to the biggest attractions and events in the city, as well as show them the spots where they can make purchases using the new app. Alipay is an accepted form of payment by tens of thousands of retailers across the country, and has more than one billion users worldwide.
“Melbourne is a world-class tourist destination, and the launch today of the Melbourne City Card is aimed at promoting the city’s leading hotspots and merchants to Australia’s largest and most important tourism market,” explained Alipay’s Country Manager, George Lawson.
A 2018 Nielsen study found that 99 per cent of Chinese tourists had the Alipay app on their phones. The Melbourne City Card features an interactive map of the leading tourist attractions in Melbourne and enables retailers throughout the city to provide ‘special geotargeted’ promotions to its users.
This app follows the success of its predecessor that launched in Sydney in February, Sydney City Card. The app saw a 20 per cent increase in local Alipay payments, as well as a record number of coupon downloads.
In a 2019 Nielsen survey of 1,244 overseas merchants, nearly 60 per cent saw subsequent growth in both foot growth and revenue. China is Australia’s largest and most valuable market, with more than 1.4 million tourists visiting the country every year, with an annual trip send of more than $12 billion. As of April 2019, there has been a ten per cent growth year in year.
“We’re really proud to be part of an initiative that not only provides our merchants an opportunity to showcase their businesses on the Alipay app, but which also celebrates the diversity and appeal of Melbourne as a destination,” said Tyro’s CEO, Robbie Cooke. “We are completely focused on giving our merchants innovative payment solutions that enable their customers to transact by their preferred method. Tyro’s integration with Alipay is just one way Tyro is positioning its merchants for success.”
Melbourne City Card hopes to boost the retail economy through the city, said City of Melbourne Small Business, Retail and Hospitality Portfolio Chair Councillor, Susan Riley. “I am pleased to welcome the introduction of the Melbourne City Card which helps connect Chinese visitors with boutique local stores, major brands and popular tourist destinations,” said Cr Riley. “Melbourne is a key tourist destination for Chinese visitors and the Melbourne City Card will offer them greater convenience and help them feel more welcome as they explore our city. The City of Melbourne has helped support businesses’ participation in the Melbourne City Card by connecting retailers with Alipay and holding a workshop on the app in May.”