Masterclassing

Alipay Picks Zapper as First UK Mobile Partner

Tim Maytom

Zapper scanning-billWith the pound dropping in value against foreign currencies, tourism is up, and China's upcoming 'Golden Week' of public holidays will see Chinese tourists increasing their spending in the UK by 300 per cent as visitors flock to attractions.

All this makes for excellent timing for mobile payment and marketing platform Zapper, which has just partnered with Chinese payment platform Alipay to enable over 250,000 tourists visiting the UK to use their Alipay app at 1,000+ locations.

Zapper is Alipay's first European mobile partner, and the deal will allow Alipay's 450m active users to pay using the app across the full range of Zapper businesses in the UK, Europe and North America. Both brands use mobile-first QR code technology, and with 85 per cent of mobile payments in China currently using QR codes, visitors will have a familiar customer journey, even far from home.

"With Zapper as a partner, Alipay can further enhance our user experience as they can conveniently shop outside of China and pay with Alipay," said Rita Liu, head of Alipay EMEA. "Meanwhile, merchants, in addition to the Alipay payment solution, can better connect and understand hundreds of thousands of Chinese tourists travelling in the UK."

With 11.7m Chinese tourists visiting Europe each year, the deal with Alipay considerably expands Zapper's userbase, which currently sits at around 1m users across 10 different countries, with 12,000 affiliated businesses.

"This is an incredibly exciting opportunity for us, pioneering the way by combining our synonymous QR code payment technology," said Gerry Hooper, CEO of Zapper UK & Ireland. "A huge development enabling Chinese tourists to seamlessly continue using the highly popular Alipay app when travelling to the UK and our partnered Zapper venues to appeal more favourably to travelling Alipay users and stand out from the competition."