Taxi drivers will soon be able to accept payments via Alipay thanks to a new agreement between Cabcharge and Ant Financial.

Following a testing period, Cabcharge will switch-on the payment feature across its 22,000 vehicles, which account for approximately 97 per cent of taxis in Australia.

Ant Financial is the financial affiliate of Alibaba and its payments product, Alipay, has more than 520 million users.

Cabcharge says it also intends to utilise Alipay’s unique marketing features to promote taxis to Chinese travellers before and during their visit to Australia. For example, this could include sending notifications to travellers as they land at airports or depart major sporting events.

“Cabcharge is an early adopter of Alipay in Australia and they understand that better servicing Chinese customers in market can lead to revenue growth. This technology will help Australian taxi drivers break-down language and currency barriers and limit anxieties that that may have stopped Chinese tourists from using taxis in the past,” said George Lawson, Country Manager of Alipay ANZ.

“In recent years, there has been a notable shift away from traditional Chinese tourist groups to more independent travellers. This is a tremendous opportunity for the taxi industry and makes the acceptance of Alipay even more critical,” Lawson said.

According to figures from Tourism Australia, in the year ending 30 June 2017, almost 1.2 million Chinese tourists visited Australia, injecting AUD$9.8 billion into the economy.

“The nation’s taxis play a vital role in the overall experience Chinese tourists have in Australia. Making transport enjoyable and seamless can have a halo-effect on all aspects of our economy, as more Chinese tourists return home and share their positive experiences,” Lawson said.

Andrew Skelton, Cabcharge’s CEO & managing director said: “Cabcharge is proud to be partnering with Alipay to extend its payment capabilities and offer additional choices for passengers. Our strategic investment in technology has contributed to us remaining at the forefront of non-cash payment technologies in Australia. The acceptance of Alipay enables the Australian taxi industry to more effectively service Alipay’s growing user base in Australia.”

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