Wirecard, the global innovation leader for digital financial technology, and Ctrip, the largest online travel agent in China, today announced the launch of multi-currency Visa cards, which support seven of the most widely-used currencies, eliminating the need to exchange currency abroad and travel with excessive amounts of cash on hand.
The Ctrip branded Visa cards will be issued by Wirecard, and offered to all Chinese Ctrip customers. Ctrip currently has 110 million active monthly users in China.
Ctrip, a NASDAQ listed company and owner of multiple travel sites including Skyscanner, connects customers to hotels, transportation providers, and tour services around the world. The cooperation with Wirecard will facilitate digital cashless payments abroad for Chinese customers: the card is convenient, easy to use, and accepted worldwide. In addition, the card supports currencies from the most-visited regions of the world: Australia, Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore, the UK, US and the Eurozone. The card is available to Ctrip customers who are Chinese citizens.
The launch comes at an opportune time, as the rate of international travel increases among Chinese citizens. According to statistics from the China National Tourism Administration, Chinese travelers made about 131 million international trips in 2017, with that number expected to increase to 200 million by 2020. In addition, a study by Nielsen and Alipay found that Chinese tourists exhibit strong purchasing power, spending the most firstly on shopping, followed by accommodation, and lastly dining. Based on these trends, the multi-currency Visa prepaid card presents an innovative and smart solution that meets the demands of international travelers.
“As a traveler, it is essential that you are able to pay in a way that is convenient, secure, and widely-accepted,” said Zhengmao Hu, VP at Ctrip. “And it is for this reason that we are confident that our solution with Wirecard will be a welcome innovation for the millions of Chinese tourists who enjoy international travel. Wirecard’s expertise in digital multi-currency payments was instrumental in bringing this innovation to life, which we are now proud to add to our portfolio.”
“We are thrilled to be partnering with one of the world’s largest online travel agents, and to be bringing our multi-currency payment solution to a fast growing market segment in China,” said Arne Matthias, EVP Issuing at Wirecard. “Developing this tailored solution to the needs of Chinese Ctrip customers shows our large opportunities as the leading provider of digital financial technology. We look forward to expanding our partnership with Ctrip to further develop innovative and cutting edge payment solutions.”
“Multi-currency Visa cards give consumers a convenient, secure way to pay whenever they travel, with the added benefits of certainty of exchange rates and breadth of acceptance that Visa provides,” said Hamish Moline, Head of Digital Partnerships, Asia Pacific, Visa. “We are excited for Ctrip customers to have this new Visa payment option in partnership with Wirecard.”