Mastercard and Alipay Partnership Enables Cashless Travel in China 

Going cashless makes travel a more stress-free and enjoyable experience—and it helps consumers avoid the hurdles of dealing with costly exchange rates and foreign currencies. 

Travel Gets a Boost Thanks to China Re-Opening 

With mainland China reopening and reinstating travel, Mastercard has partnered with Alipay to let travelers to China pay for goods and services digitally.   

Mastercard cardholders need to link their Mastercard debit or credit card to Alipay’s digital wallet. With their mobile device, consumers will be able to pay at millions of locations throughout the region that accept Alipay. And because QR codes are China’s most popular form of payment, this option is also convenient for consumers who already have their mobile device out.  

Merchants will also benefit from the partnership as it will boost opportunities to transact with visitors from around the world, giving these customers access to one of the most widely accepted methods of payment.  

In a prepared statement, Venetia Lee, General Manager of Ant Group Greater China International Business said:  

“We strive to enable more consumers and SMEs to enjoy the benefits brought by inclusive digital payment services. The new service offered by Alipay and Mastercard will not only enable a better experience for international travelers when visiting China but will also unlock more business opportunities for merchants on the Alipay open platform as global travel is set for rapid growth.” 

Dennis Chang, Executive Vice President and Division President, Greater China, Mastercard, added

“This next step in the partnership with Ant Group exemplifies Mastercard’s long term commitment to the China market, and the company’s continuous global effort to power economies and empower people. As travel and tourism rebound, Mastercard is delighted to partner with Alipay to enable cardholders worldwide to enjoy the ultimate in payments security, convenience, and peace of mind as they work, play, rest, and roam during their journeys to China.” 

The travel sector is recovering, post-pandemic. According to Mastercards’ “Travel Industry Trends 2023,” report, outbound tourist expenditures hailing from China are getting closer to pre-pandemic levels. In March, Chinese spending on international travel soared from nearly zero in the previous year to just under the amount reported for 2019.  

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