Alipay+ Connects 2 Million Merchants in Japan as Global Tourists Travel to the Country for Cherry Blossom Season

TOKYO, Japan

As merchants in Japan gear up to receive cherry blossom tourists across from around the world, Ant International announced that its cross-border mobile payment solution Alipay+ has connected two million merchants across the country, enabling businesses, big or small, to better serve global visitors through a seamless payment experience with their home country e-wallets.

There are 16 e-wallets and bank apps accepted in Japan via Alipay+, a suite of cross-border digital payment and digitalization technology solutions, namely Alipay (Chinese mainland), AlipayHK (Hong Kong SAR China), MPay (Macao SAR China), South Korea’s Kakao Pay, Naver Pay and Toss, Singapore’s OCBC Digital, Changi Pay and EZ-Link, Malaysia’s Touch ‘n Go eWallet and MyPB by Public Bank Berhad, the Philippines’ GCash and HelloMoney, TrueMoney (Thailand), Hipay (Mongolia), and Tinaba (Italy).

A+_in_Japan_March_2024

Powered by Alipay+, transaction volume made by e-wallets and bank apps in Japan jumped over 200% in the first three weeks of March, compared with the same period in 2023. Transaction value is estimated to account for about 10% of total spending among users during their stay in the country, Douglas Feagin, President of Ant International, said during a press conference in Tokyo.

Among all, Alipay, AlipayHK, Kakao Pay, Touch ‘n Go eWallet, GCash and TrueMoney are among the most popular e-wallets used by travelers to Japan, while MPay, Naver Pay and Toss are seeing rapid growth in transactions.

Mr. Feagin said, “We are grateful to our over 40 local acquiring partners in Japan, including both big institutions as well as small ones that only have several employees, for their tremendous support to promote a seamless, transparent and efficient experience together for local businesses and international travelers.

“By working with these partners, Alipay+ provides global tourists with a seamless digital payment experience that is the same as in their own markets. Without any extra efforts, tourists can make purchases by simply scanning the QR code at merchants of all size, without worrying about foreign currency exchange or any language barriers.”

In Asakusa, a vibrant neighborhood and popular tourist destination with small souvenir shops and snack stalls, an increasing number of merchants are leveraging the simplicity of QR code to do businesses. PayPay, a leading cashless payment service and partner of Alipay+ in Japan, supports the merchants, facilitating seamless transactions for both locals and tourists alike. In Asakusa, the monthly cross-border mobile transaction volume is more than 5 times higher on average, reflecting the growing trend of cashless payments in the area.

At Daimaru Matsuzakaya Department Stores, a flagship department store chain in Japan, transaction volume made by Alipay+ partner e-wallets and bank apps rose over 10 times in the first two months of this year, compared with the same period last year.

Mr. Akito Kimura, Manager of Inbound Business Division for Daimaru Matsuzakaya Department Stores, said, “Starting with connecting Alipay to make Chinese customers more at home, we are pleased to expand our partnership with Ant International by integrating with Alipay+. This will allow us to accommodate the preferred payment methods of our international customers through simple integration. We look forward to working together to drive more innovation, ensuring all customers can enjoy a memorable and peace-of-mind shopping experience at our stores.”

Ms. Venetia Lee, CEO of AlipayHK, said, “Japan is the first foreign destination of AlipayHK as it is one of the most favorite travel destinations for the Hong Kong residents. Powered by Alipay+, Hong Kong people can now use AlipayHK to make purchases at local stores and use car-hailing in Japan, which are settled in Hong Kong dollars with competitive exchange rates in the market. With the increasing acceptance of Alipay+ among local merchants in Japan, the daily transaction values and volumes of AlipayHK in the country in the first quarter have surged 3.5 times and 5 times over the previous quarter. I am confident that the usage of AlipayHK will continue to grow in Japan on the back of the strong adoption of Alipay+ services among the Japanese merchants.”

Mr. Ren-Ren Reyes, president and CEO of GXI (G-Xchange, Inc.), the mobile wallet operator of GCash said, “Our long-standing partnership with Alipay+ has allowed us to be an indispensable companion for Filipino travelers in now 47 countries and territories around the world. We are glad to continue strengthening our collaboration with Alipay+ to ensure every Filipino has a seamless and secure cashless payment option when they travel abroad.”

Mr. Won-Keun Shin, the CEO of Kakao Pay, a major acquirer in South Korea, said, “We are glad that users can easily and conveniently pay with Kakao Pay at 2 million large and small merchants in Japan, one of the most visited countries by Korean tourists. Through discussions with Alipay+ as well as several e-wallet partners representing each country, we will accelerate global expansion and provide more benefits.”

Mr. John Sun, Chairman and CEO of Macau Pass, stated, “As the leading mobile payment e-wallet in Macao, MPay, together with Alipay+ which has launched a suite of innovative digital cross-border solutions, strives to create a smart e-wallet that facilitates Macao residents to travel globally, this could also solve the issues they encounter with payment while travelling overseas, thus improve travelers’ payment and shopping experience. MPay will continue to expand in e-payments, lifestyle services, and marketing technology services to develop more open and diversified intelligent payment business scenarios.”

Mr. Alan Ni, Chief Executive Officer of TNG Digital Sdn. Bhd., the operator of TNG eWallet, said, “As Malaysia’s top eWallet provider, we’re committed to serving users locally and expanding globally. Our partnership with Alipay+ has seen transactions surge sixfold this year, specifically in Japan, a true testament to our dedication to innovative payment solutions. With over half of Malaysia entrusting TNG eWallet as their preferred digital payment and financial services provider, we aim to be the ultimate travel companion, ensuring easy and safe transactions wherever our users go.”

Ms. Monsinee Nakapanant, Co-President of Ascend Money, the operator of TrueMoney said, “Japan ranks as one of the most popular destinations with approximately 1 million Thai travelers each year. We are pleased to work with Alipay+ to create more inclusive cross-border payments and enable Thais to enjoy safe, real-time, and cost-effective payments with their accustomed home wallet TrueMoney. Enabling the travelers to connect with Japanese merchants of all sizes will also expand their experiences of local culture and people that would make their trip more memorable.”

Introduced by Ant International in 2020, Alipay+ now connects over 88 million merchants in 57 countries and regions to 1.5 billion consumer accounts on over 25 e-wallets and bank apps, allowing consumers to travel and pay hassle-free globally, and merchants to build out cross-border consumer engagement and digital marketing.

The service builds on Alipay+’s extensive regional partnerships, including those with national QR schemes including Singapore’s SGQR, Malaysia’s PayNet, South Korea’s ZeroPay, Sri Lanka’s LankaPay and Cambodia’s KHQR.