Peach Payments, a South African fintech company, has partnered with online and mobile payment platform, Alipay, and banking and payment solution provider, ACI Worldwide, enabling South African businesses to accept payments from Chinese tourists through their Alipay wallets.

The first local merchant in Africa to offer Alipay will be City Sightseeing, which operates the open-top ‘hop-on hop-off’ bus tours in Cape Town and Johannesburg.

“Bringing Alipay to Africa gives African merchants another way to engage with and serve Chinese visitors,” said Rita Liu, Head of Alipay for Europe, Middle East and Africa. “We are happy to work with local partners to provide better travel experiences to Chinese tourists, and to create more value for local commerce.”

 “We’re continuously thinking about how we can help our merchants sell more and sell more efficiently. Our partnership with Alipay and ACI Worldwide is yet another step to help the online commerce market grow in South Africa,” said Peach Payments Co-Founder, Rahul Jain.

Zapper, a mobile app that allows users to pay their bill by simply scanning the QR code on the screen with their smartphone, has also partnered with Alipay.

More mobile, more spend

China’s increasing number of outbound tourists drives the internationalisation of Chinese mobile payment systems such as Alipay and WeChat pay, Bradley Brouwer, President for Asia Pacific of South African Tourism, told Tourism Update. “In China, anything from splitting a bill to shopping for groceries can be done through your smartphone. Alipay and WeChat Pay are the country’s two largest mobile payment solutions, together controlling about 90 per cent of the domestic industry so it is essential to find strategic ways to partner with these tech giants to market to Chinese outbound tourists.”

Numbers of Chinese tourists visiting SA has peaked. From January to December 2016, a total of 117 144 visitors came to SA, including Hong Kong, representing a 38% year-on-year increase.

Brouwer adds: “Consumers will consider destinations that offer them easy payment options. South African Tourism is currently working to partner with WeChat to add WeChat pay to its social media channels. We are also working closely with Standard Bank in China to link SnapChat to a payment system as well as the China Construction Bank on a branded credit card, with offers in SA exclusively to UnionPay card holders from China.”