Ant Group brings four mobile wallets to the Philippines to offer travellers a seamless cashless experience

Ant Group, the operator of Alipay+, the global cross-border digital payments and marketing solution, announced that four mobile wallets are now accepted in the Philippines. These include AlipayHK (Hong Kong SAR), Kakao Pay (South Korea), Touch ‘n Go eWallet (Malaysia) and Alipay (Chinese mainland), which has been accepted by Filipino merchants since 2017.

Why is this a timely launch?

This new development enables travellers from these regions to enjoy a cashless experience, using just their home mobile wallets to make payment, improving the travel experience as digital payment options like mobile wallets become the norm for day-to-day transactions.

The acceptance of three new mobile wallets, via Alipay+, comes as travellers return to the Philippines. According to the Department of Tourism (DOT), more than 3 million tourists have visited the Philippines from January 1 to July 19, 2023, reflecting continued robust recovery.

The Department of Tourism also shared that inbound tourism receipts from January 1 to June 30, 2023, are more than 500% higher than the same period last year1. South Koreans top the list of international visitors to the Philippines, while Malaysia ranks in the top 102.

Alipay+ is accepted by merchants in Manila and Cebu, the top two most visited cities in the Philippines pre-pandemic in 20193. In the first half of 2023, Mactan-Cebu International Airport saw a 219% increase in passengers compared to the same period last year.

In order to cater to the new expectations of digital-first travellers, Mactan-Cebu International Airport (MCIA) has integrated Alipay+ across 90% of its merchants, ensuring that travellers can enjoy a digitally-enhanced cashless experience from the moment they arrive in Cebu.

What does this mean for MCIA?

Athanasios Titonis, Aboitiz InfraCapital CEO assigned to MCIA, said: “At MCIA, we have always placed utmost importance on providing convenience and ease of travel through seamless processes and world-class services and amenities. The integration of Alipay+ gives passengers that convenience and more payment options when they travel through MCIA.”

Mactan-Cebu International Airport (MCIA) is the second largest airport in the Philippines with over 11 million passengers annually, making it the second busiest airport in the country.

With its strategic location and world-class facilities, MCIA aims to establish itself as the main tourism gateway of the country with exceptional travel experience, connecting the world to the Philippines. To date, MCIA is the first and only airport in the Philippines to receive the Airport Customer Experience (ACX) accreditation from the Airports Council International.

What does this mean for Ant Group?

Dr. Cherry Huang, General Manager of Alipay+ Offline Merchant Services at Ant Group, said: “Philippines and its many islands, such as Cebu, have long been a favourite for Asian travellers and we look forward to working with our local partners to enhance their travel experience.”

“We believe that digital adoption and solutions will shape travellers’ expectations, particularly in the way the engage travel-related businesses, from airports and hospitality to F&B and retail stores. Our focus is to work with more partners to onboard merchants with Alipay+ across the Philippines, particularly local SMBs, and promote digital travel and travel recovery.”

Introduced by Ant Group in 2020, Alipay+ aims to enable local businesses, especially small and medium-sized businesses, to process a wide range of mobile payment methods and reach over 1.4 billion consumers, through one-time integration and simple technical adaption. In addition to the Philippines, Alipay+ is also widely accepted in destinations including the Chinese mainland, Macao SAR, Singapore, Thailand, Japan and South Korea among others.