Alipay has become available in more locations and destinations this year. Source: Shutterstock

Overseas Alipay spending skyrockets during May Day break

WHEN it comes to splashing the cash (or electronic payment alternatives), holiday periods seem to really get shoppers spending.

During Christmas, Hanukkah, Halloween, Father’s Day, Mother’s Day, and Valentine’s Day, businesses see their sales soar. Consumers have also been shown to spend big on travel and shopping over Memorial and Labor Day weekends.

In China, millions of consumers take full advantage of May Day – also known as Labor Day – with planned trips overseas. In fact, government estimates had more than one million mainland Chinese traveling overseas on April 30.

The public holiday, which fell between April 29 and May 1 this year, saw many Chinese tourists spending using the Alipay app, which has become available in many more destinations this year.

It seems this payment method is becoming increasingly popular among consumers and merchants, with Alipay reporting that the company processed five times as many in-store transactions overseas this Labor Day compared to the same time last year.

Alipay-user patterns this Labor Day

The top overseas users of Alipay were, perhaps unsurprisingly, millennials. Those consumers born in the 1980’s and 1990’s accounted for 85 percent of overseas usage of Alipay this Labor Day. Almost two-thirds of these were female.

Labour day revealed new insights for Alipay. Source: Shutterstock

In regards to transaction volume, the top destinations for both this year and last, were Hong Kong, Thailand, South Korea, Japan, Macau, and Taiwan.

When looking at the differences from last year, Australia has climbed in popularity while the US has declined. Interestingly, Germany has completely disappeared from the list, replaced by Malaysia who started to accept Alipay last May.

This doesn’t mean that Chinese consumers have lost interest in Western trips. In fact, European and North American destinations experienced the fastest growth in the use of Alipay over the past year, with growth rates reaching as high as 1,000 percent.

A recent whitepaper from data research firm Nielsen and Alipay revealed that more than 90 percent of Chinese tourists sampled in their study said they would use mobile payment methods overseas if given the opportunity. And as such, many businesses across the globe have adapted to this payment type in light of the amount of business Chinese tourists bring.

According to a report by China Tourism Academy and online travel services provider Ctrip, mainland Chinese travelers made over 130 million outbound trips last year, spending an estimated US$115 billion during such journeys.

Alipay to facilitate the growth of small and micro businesses

Alipay have announced a scheme to help businesses with their finance. Source: Shutterstock

This week, Alipay announced the launch of a new initiative dedicated to helping small and micro businesses grow, according to reports from local media 36kr.

Ant Financial has said that its Alipay platform will offer  RMB1 trillion in loans over the next three years to those businesses facing financial problems and difficulties.

The electronic-payments goliath said it aims to provide “security” and “growth” to the 100 million businesses that it serves and to support its community of small businesses to keep up the pace in the intenet+ era.