Australians visiting China will now be able to use Alipay, the popular Chinese digital payment platform, during their trip.

Alipay has today announced that for the first time ever, international visitors to the Chinese mainland can now access and use Alipay, the mobile payment and lifestyle platform used by more than 1.2 billion people worldwide.

Alipay currently serves over 1 billion users, however access to the Alipay app has previously required a Chinese bank account and phone number, making it inaccessible to short-term overseas visitors.

From today, a special international version of the Alipay app is available for download for both iOS and Android devices, enabling visitors to register with their overseas mobile phone number to access the ‘Tour Pass’ mini program.

Visitors can then use their international debit or credit card to load CNY onto a prepaid card provided by Bank of Shanghai, and immediately begin using Alipay’s mobile payment platform, the company said.

In addition to QR code payments, visitors can now access a suite of lifestyle services enjoyed by Chinese users of the app, including the option to hail taxis, book hotel accommodation, and purchase train tickets, all within the Alipay app.

The minimum top-up for each card is CNY100, with the maximum balance capped at CNY2,000. The card is valid for 90 days, after which any remaining funds will be refunded automatically.

According to figures from DFAT, China is one of Australia’s most popular outbound tourism destinations, with more than 734,000 Australians visiting the country in 2017.

 

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