The number of Chinese tourists, emigrants and students arriving in Australia every year has been steadily rising and as a result, businesses have been provided with the opportunity to profit from the ever-expanding customer segment.
According to Tourism Australia, over 1.4 million Chinese people visited Australia last year, accounting for more than 15% of the total inbound travel market and A$10.9 billion in visitor expenditure, making China one of Australia’s most important source markets.
To capitalise from the Chinese market, Australian businesses must adapt to fit the demands of their Chinese consumers. One particular trend that China has greatly influenced worldwide is the cashless payment system, seeing traditional methods of payment exchanged for making purchases by scanning QR codes and using in-app payments via a mobile device.
How can Australian businesses cash-in on cashless payments?
Smartphone-based payments are hugely popular in China and are ubiquitous for buying products, sending money and paying bills, but cashless payments remain largely redundant in Australia, where cash and debit cards are the go-to methods for making purchases.
The statistics show that 89% of Chinese people own a smartphone, with 80% using it as their primary payment method. China’s trillion-dollar mobile payment market is dominated by WeChat Pay and Alipay, owned by Tencent Holdings (China’s version of Facebook) and Ant Financial (an affiliate of Alibaba). Combined, they control a huge 93% of mobile payment transactions in China.
With the technology readily available, Australian companies have the opportunity to utilise WeChat Pay and Alipay to integrate consumer digital behaviour into the sales environment, further creating an appealing retail experience for the increasingly digital-based Chinese consumers who want to spend money on their products or services.
Mobile payments are an integral part of Chinese consumer culture with almost 7 out of 10 travellers using mobile payments to pay for their expenses abroad. By providing the ultimate convenience for Chinese customers, Australian businesses can expect to see a dramatic increase in sales from the Chinese market.
Businesses are already expanding their reach with WeChat Pay and Alipay
The popular Hunter Valley vineyard and cellar door, Pokolbin Estate, is one of the latest Australian businesses to reap the benefits of using a cashless payment system to appeal to the Chinese market and drive revenue by expanding their reach.
By accepting WeChat Pay and Alipay mobile payments, Chinese visitors to Pokolbin Estate can enjoy the ease of their popular payment methods using their local currency, while Pokolbin Estate benefits from increased growth in sales and a substantial upsurge in new customers. As an additional perk, buyers can approve the transaction in their own language giving them peace of mind on their purchase.
With an already visible increase in the integration of WeChat Pay and Alipay among many leading international brands, bringing these two China-centric mobile payment methods to Australia is an obvious advantage for retailers looking to capture a profitable customer base.
Many business owners who are new to mobile payment systems are amazed at the potential the platforms offer, primarily because of their high engagement rates and incorporation of multiple payment, social and e-commerce features into one user-friendly place, allowing businesses to advertise themselves while also delivering online services.
Both WeChat Pay and Alipay have been pushing for international expansion over the last decade, primarily to serve the ever-growing number of Chinese people travelling abroad and with China’s new digital payment system here to stay, a push for Australian businesses to provide a mobile payment services is the next logical step to capture the Chinese market.
If you are interested in using WeChat Pay or Alipay we recommend contacting David O’Connell to discuss the best options and whether a mobile payment strategy is right for your business.