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Mobile money platform Alipay enters South Africa

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Chinese tourists can now use Alipay in 10,000 merchants across South Africa.

Online and mobile payment platform Alipay has announced a partnership with Zapper, a mobile payment, customer insights and digital marketing platform developed in South Africa.

As revealed by the firm, this partnership will allow Chinese tourist in South Africa to pay using their smartphones at 10,000 Zapper-affiliated merchants across the country.

Chinese tourists will be able to search for restaurants, bars, theatres, book shops, adventure parks and more through Alipay’s in-app Discovery platform, and pay for their orders in RMB via Alipay by scanning a Zapper QR code.

“South Africa is a must-experience country for Chinese tourists visiting Africa. We are excited to partner with Zapper, the largest mobile payment provider in South Africa, to offer Chinese tourists a safe and convenient payment solution and seamless travel experience,” said Rita Liu, Head of Alipay EMEA.

“This cross-continental alliance is in line with the series of expansions into new verticals that Zapper is currently undertaking to diversify its service range, and further strengthen its position as South Africa’s mobile payment and loyalty rewards app of choice. These verticals include hospitality, retail, bills, e-commerce, donations, parking, fuel and convenience,” said Will Heygate, General Manager of Zapper South Africa.

This development arrives on the heels of the online payment service for hop-on-hop-off bus ticketing in Cape Town and Johannesburg that Alipay launched in June this year.

With Alipay’s more than 520 million Chinese users and Zapper’s rapidly burgeoning presence within the global payment landscape, each brand is now also better positioned to strengthen their appeal to the Asian and African customer respectively.

According to statistics by the South African Department of Tourism, over 110,000 Chinese tourists visited South Africa in the fiscal year of 2016, with a year-on-year growth of 38 percent. Tourism in South Africa has continuously grown for 7 years and weights 9 percent of the country’s GDP.

The South African government has recognised the tourism sector’s potential to generate economic growth and employment creation. Through the Department of Tourism’s strategic plan – National Tourism Sector Strategy (NTSS), the tourism sector is committed to creating a total of 225,000 additional jobs by the year 2020.

Edited by Fundisiwe Maseko
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