Alipay, China’s leading digital payment platform operated by Ant Financial Services Group, and PIER 39, one of San Francisco’s most popular tourist destinations for shopping, dining and entertainment, today announced a partnership to create a seamless payment experience for Chinese travelers.
Through the partnership, more than 40 merchants and vendors located on PIER 39, including Blue & Gold Fleet, Bubba Gump Shrimp, Fog Harbor Fish House and the Aquarium of the Bay, will now accept payment via Alipay’s mobile wallet through point-of-sale machines activated and implemented by CITCON, a leading cross-border mobile payment and marketing solutions provider that helps connect merchants with Chinese mobile wallet users.
“Chinese consumers visiting San Francisco love to visit PIER 39,” said Taylor Safford, President and CEO of PIER 39. “Through our partnership with Alipay, we can now provide these travelers with a familiar, seamless payment experience, whether they are exploring the aquarium, dining at one of our beautiful waterfront restaurants, or shopping on The PIER.”
“Chinese consumers seek out authentic and exciting local experiences while traveling, and San Francisco’s PIER 39 is exactly that kind of iconic destination,” said Souheil Badran, President, Alipay Americas. “We are thrilled to partner with PIER 39. By enabling them to use Alipay at the register, they are diminishing payment and language barriers, providing these Chinese travelers with the best shopping and touring experience possible.”
“We applaud PIER 39’s initiative to make the destination ‘Alipay friendly’ for visitors from China,” said Joe D’Alessandro, president and CEO of the San Francisco Travel Association, the city’s destination marketing organization. “China is San Francisco’s top overseas market with the highest spending of over $1.4 billion in 2017. By 2020, one in every four visitor dollars spent in San Francisco will come from a Chinese visitor. Alipay is the largest mobile payment platforms in China and a key factor in making it easy for Chinese visitors to spend in San Francisco.”
Through Alipay’s geolocation-based “Discover” function and push notifications within the app, Chinese travelers can locate merchants at PIER 39, receive promotional information and make purchasing decisions. Beyond an improved payment experience, Alipay offers a sophisticated marketing channel. Through Alipay, PIER 39’s merchants will be able to market to Chinese tourists before, during and after their visits, boosting exposure of their businesses among China’s rapidly expanding overseas visitors. Alipay is currently offering a promotion through the end of July to consumers shopping at PIER 39’s merchants.
“Mobile payments are now an integral part of Chinese consumer culture. Providing a welcoming environment and comfortable checkout experience to Chinese consumers is the key to success in the tourism industry,” said Chuck Huang, Founder and CEO, CITCON. “We are committed to connecting businesses with Chinese consumers, and excited to partner with PIER 39 and Alipay to welcome and better serve Chinese travelers.”