Wirecard, the global innovation leader for digital financial technology, and Tirol Werbung, the tourism organization of the Austrian state of Tyrol, are launching a new China Pay Initiative together with partners Innsbruck Tourism, Kitzbühel Tourism, the Kufsteinerland Tourism Association, Ötztal Tourism, the St. Anton Tourism Association and the Swarovski Kristallwelten. The initiative will enable a state-wide coverage of Wirecard's mobile payment solution, integrating the most popular Chinese mobile payment methods into numerous Tyrolean companies. Initially, 150 businesses in the region will be equipped with the solution.
According to a Nielsen study, around 91 percent of Chinese tourists would be willing to spend and buy more abroad if more merchants accepted Chinese mobile payment methods. With this initiative, Wirecard and Tirol Werbung are therefore addressing the preferences of this target group. The state of Tyrol wants to offer Alipay, among others, as a payment option in as many businesses as possible. Wirecard is responsible for the entire payment integration and processing operations.
A 2018 report found that total spending by Chinese tourists in Austria had increased by 28 percent over the previous year, making China the top spending country for tax-free purchases in the Alpine nation among non-European countries. With a share of 30 percent of all tax-free sales in Austria, China clearly ranks first, ahead of Russia (10 percent) and Switzerland (8 percent). While the average non-European tourist spent 508 euros, visitors from China spent an average of 616 euros per purchase.
Holger Gassler, Market Manager of Tirol Werbung, said, "We expect to gain a competitive advantage as the first Austrian province to introduce Chinese mobile payment methods on a large scale. Payment convenience plays a major role for this target group in particular and can make both the region and participating merchants more attractive to Chinese tourists. The introduction of Wirecard's digital payment platform is also one of the first projects within the scope of Tyrol's digitization campaign."
Roland Toch, Managing Director CEE at Wirecard, added, "Experience shows that accepting Alipay as a new payment method can lead to an increase in transaction volume with travelers from China of more than 350 percent within one year. We are proud to partner with Tirol Werbung to offer our digital payment solution to hundreds of companies and to continue the digitization of their payment processes. We look forward to expanding our partnership with Tyrol and other European regions in the future."