oncardis is expanding its international portfolio: the payment service provider is bringing Chinese mobile payment solution Alipay to Austria and Switzerland.
CGössl is the first merchant in Austria to enable Chinese guests to pay via smartphone and the Alipay app. The roll-out in the Swiss market is planned for October of this year. In Germany, Concardis has already successfully integrated the Alipay payment method in the businesses of jeweller Wempe, TOD’s and Timberland, among others. The Borussia Dortmund football club now also offers tourists from East Asia the ability to pay with Alipay in the fan shop and when visiting the stadium.
‘Retail is becoming increasingly internationalised. This in turn increases the demands on payment systems - not only in e-commerce, but also at the point of sale on site. Tourists from around the world come to Europe and, when shopping, expect the standard options they are used to from their home countries. But East Asia is leading the way in terms of mobile payment. This is the reason for our partnership with Alipay - which helps us enable merchants in all of German-speaking Europe to allow their customers who are travelling from Asia to pay using the preferred payment method in China,’ says Marcus W. Mosen, CEO of Concardis. And it has certainly paid off: Alipay currently has more than 450 million active users and holds more than 50% of the Chinese online payment market - even reaching a total of 80% with regard to mobile payment.
Gössl is the first merchant in Austria to integrate Alipay into its payment portfolio. Initially, the traditional clothing brand will enable customers to pay using their smartphone and the Alipay app in 20 shops in Austria, with seven shops in Germany to follow. An additional option is the potential integration of Alipay at the point of sale in Switzerland with the help of Concardis, if this payment option resonates with customers.
‘It was important to us to be able to use Alipay in all of our shops without much effort. With Concardis, we have found a partner that makes this possible throughout German-speaking Europe,’ says Maximilian Gössl, who is responsible for sales at the family-owned company. Concardis integrates Alipay at the point of sale with a simple software update for the existing terminals. There is no need for additional investment in the technical infrastructure.
The demand is there: in Germany, Concardis has already implemented Alipay at several hundred acceptance outlets. The most recent customer is eight-time German Bundesliga champion Borussia Dortmund. ‘In addition to ten million fans in Germany, we also have a loyal fan base in Asia and, for years now, our sales to Chinese customers have been increasing. This is why we want to make their visit to the stadium and shop here in Germany as simple as possible,’ says Carsten Cramer, director of sales and marketing for the BVB football club.
Rita Liu, head of EMEA at Alipay, explains: ‘Our mobile payment solution in the Alipay app is becoming more and more popular in Germany - we are of course very happy about this fact. Entry into the Austrian and Swiss markets is important for us to help us gain stable footing in Europe as a whole. With their strong position in German-speaking Europe and their international experience, Concardis is the ideal partner to help us achieve this goal.’ The partnership between the Chinese company and the Eschborn-based payment service provider has existed since June of last year.
According to the German Federal Statistical Office, 2.5 million Chinese tourists stayed in hotels in Germany in 2015. And these numbers will continue to grow. Austria is also generating increasing numbers with regard to tourism: 715,000 Chinese tourists visited Austria in 2015. In the same year, more than 1.5 million Chinese guests stayed overnight in Switzerland.