Chinese tourists driving WeChat Pay, Alipay growth in Philippines

Michelle Ong, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Feb 19 2018 08:53 AM | Updated as of Sep 26 2018 04:56 PM

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MANILA - Chinese tourists are driving the growth of cashless payment systems WeChat Pay and Alipay in the Philippines, an official of Asia United Bank said on Monday. 

AUB vice president and credit card business head Mags Vazquez Surtida said they are currently already using Tencent's WeChat Pay, and will soon also offer Alipay from Chinese billionaire Jack Ma. 

"We will soon be working with Alipay to have both WeChat Pay and Alipay be in our AUB payment platform so that it will give more value to our merchant customers, having them accept both mobile payments brands from China," Surtida told ANC's Early Edition.

Chinese tourist arrivals are projected to hit 1 million this year. Staying in the country for 8 days on average, WeChat Pay in the Philippines can generate up to P48 billion in revenue, Surtida said.

"The transaction counts are increasing. The transaction values are increasing. We can see more merchants. We see the growth happening on a daily basis," she added.

WeChat Pay and Alipay rely on smartphones and QR codes to execute cashless payments.

WeChat Pay is accepted in 1,000 retail outlets in the Philippines, including hotels and restaurants, Surtida said. The number of daily transactions recently reached up to 2,500 in the run-up to the Chinese New Year, twice the average per day, she said.

The value of single transactions were as high as P90,000, recorded in Boracay. Diners spend P6,000 to P12,000 while shoppers pay P4,000 to P7,000 using WeChat Pay, she said, Surtida said.

Surtida said AUB hoped to grow the number of WeChat Pay merchants in the Philippines to 5,000 by March.