GM Cabs has joined the ranks of Australian businesses courting lucrative Chinese tourism dollars by accepting payments through Alipay.
The partnership was announced on Monday at a joint event with the local taxi operator and the Chinese QR code payments platform, with epay Australia completing the rollout of the solution to GM Cabs’ fleet of over 250 branded taxis.
GM Cabs payments also underpin a number of other taxi networks as well as the Rydo booking app, contributing to more than 10 million payment receipts issued by GM Cabs for operators using its platform each year.
The agreement between the two opens up new marketing channels for the taxi company to engage with Chinese tourists, whom they said accounted for 81 percent of the growth in tourism spending in Australia in the last year.
“GM Cabs has provided services to the tourist and hotel markets for many years and with
the growth of Chinese tourism we recognise the value in service that Alipay offers,” chief executive and found of GM Cabs George Mikahel said.
Other taxi operators, including A2B and its subsidiaries 13cabs and Cabcharge, are also looking to corner the same market, having introduced Alipay along with other non-bank payment platforms like Apple Pay and eTickets based on Google Pay.
This is all part of Alipay’s plan, with country manager George Lawson saying taxis "play a central role in the Chinese visitor experience in Australia".
Tourism Australia is also facilitating the adoption of Alibaba’s payments system, having launched a “Sydney City Card” in conjunction with Alipay to draw cashed-up tourists to the likes of the Sydney Harbour Bridge and notable shopping and dining precincts including Westfield, Darling Harbour and the soon to be redeveloped Sydney Fish Markets.
Banks like CBA and NAB are also smoothing the transition for merchants over to the platform by offering some Alipay acceptance integration, with challenger bank Tyro routing Alipay through its eftpos service.