“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 a series of expansions into new verticals that Zapper has undertaken to diversify its services and further strengthen its position as South Africa’s mobile payment and loyalty rewards app of choice. These verticals include hospitality, retail, bill payment, e-commerce, donations, parking, fuel and convenience,” said Will Heygate, General Manager of Zapper South Africa.
According to statistics from the South African Department of Tourism, over 110,000 Chinese tourists visited South Africa in fiscal 2016, with a year-on-year growth rate of 38%. Tourism in South Africa has grown continuously for 7 years and comprises 9% of the country’s GDP.
The South African government has recognized the tourism sector’s potential to generate economic growth and employment. 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.
With Alipay’s more than 520 million Chinese users and Zapper’s rapidly burgeoning presence within the global payment landscape, each brand is now better positioned to support this local strategy and to strengthen its respective appeal to both Asian and South African customers.
Alipaycurrently has over 520 million active users and over 450 financial institution partners globally. Alipay has evolved from a digital wallet to a lifestyle enabler. Users can hail a taxi, book a hotel, buy movie tickets, pay utility bills, make appointments with doctors, or purchase wealth management products directly from within the app. In addition to online payments, Alipay is expanding to in-store offline payments both inside and outside of China. Over 10 million brick-and-mortar merchants now accept Alipay across China.
Alipay recently launched its Smile to Pay option in China.