Vodafone has announced a partnership which will enable 110 of its stores across Australia to accept Chinese payment method Alipay.

The agreement allows Vodafone to offer Chinese tourists their preferred QR code payment method in-store and opens a new marketing channel to reach Chinese nationals before, during and after their visits to Australia.

Vodafone is the first major telecommunications company in Australia to sign an agreement with Alipay and following a successful testing period, the technology has now been switched on nationwide. This includes Vodafone stores in each of its international airport locations where it is targeting Chinese visitors who want to access local mobile services shortly after touching down.

Alipay has more than 700 million active users in China and in Australia more than 10,000 merchants accept Alipay payments.

Vodafone will use Alipay’s unique in-app marketing functionality to promote its pre-paid sim cards to Chinese nationals on holiday or travelling for business. Vodafone pre-paid products include a generous amount of international calls across up to 90 countries.

The first of these promotions, which is live now, involves Vodafone offering Alipay users 50 per cent off $50 prepaid starter packs via a digital coupon and this has already been redeemed over 5000 times.

Chief Commercial Officer, Ben McIntosh said that creating simple and easy experiences for customers is in Vodafone’s DNA.

“We offer international calls to more destinations and our signature 35 day expiry,” he said.

“Alipay helps us continue to differentiate Vodafone as the number one choice for Chinese visitors to Australia.”

Country Manager of Alipay ANZ George Lawson said offering Alipay is a competitive advantage.

With almost 1.4 million Chinese visitors arriving in Australia each year, it’s simply too large an audience to ignore and forward-thinking businesses like Vodafone are increasingly giving themselves a competitive advantage by letting visitors pay in their preferred way,”  he said.

“Using our technology, Vodafone will now be able to communicate with a customer as soon as they land at an Australian airport to offer them a discount on a local SIM card or other services. Chinese consumers are tech-savvy and want to find the best deal, so time and time again we see these types of offers are incredibly well received.”

This announcement came shortly after Golden Week, a semi-annual seven-day national holiday (1-7 October) during which many Chinese people schedule their vacations. Alipay data revealed Australia was the 9th most popular travel destination based on payment volume, and the most popular outside of Asia, on 105 per cent year-on-year growth.

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