As China’s economy continues to grow, more and more nationals are traveling abroad bringing with them their spending habits. In China, Alipay and WeChat Pay have become the payments methods of choice for a majority of consumers and tourists expect the same convenience when traveling abroad.
The report highlights the growth in the number of overseas Chinese tourists, which reached 122 million in 2016, an increase of 4.3% over 2015 and the potential these numbers could have for merchants who support mobile payments.
Spending habits have also changed, the survey shows. If in the past Chinese tourists bought mainly luxury items when traveling abroad, now retail purchases are more common. Most tourist spent between USD 393 and USD 786 for retail purchases on their most recent trip, while 5.7% spent more than USD 6,288. During their travel, China’s overseas tourists spent $109.8 billion, or $900 per person on average in 2016.
Mobile payments is a preferred payment method, with 67% of respondents reporting that they use Alipay or WeChat Pay for overseas purchases. This represents about 41% of overseas consumption and tourists used mobile payments for more than 10% of total transactions.
Merchants too are responding to these changes as 80% of respondents cited consumer demand as one of the main reasons for adopting mobile payments. Furthermore, 70% of respondents said that mainland Chinese consumers were their largest source of global revenue, further highlighting their importance.
Chinese consumers are most likely to use mobile payments for clothing, followed by makeup and skincare, and food and beverages. Travel related ticket purchases and hotel accommodations also ranked high amongst the categories consumers were most likely to pay for with mobile.
The survey shows that mobile payments are an increasingly popular payments method for Chinese citizens traveling abroad and as transaction values for mobile payments are expected to increase, merchants have to be aware of these changes and adapt accordingly.
For this survey, Kapronasia and CANCAN have interviewd 1000 Chinese consumers abroad and 60 global merchants.