April 3 2018  |  Retailers

Qatar Duty Free to offer Alipay at Hamad International Airport

By Aijaz Khan

Qatar Duty Free (QDF) has become the first airport retailer in the Middle East/Africa to introduce Chinese mobile payment system Alipay.

Wirecard, a digital financial tech specialist, is partnering with QDF to offer Alipay payments from April in selected QDF retail outlets at Hamad International Airport (HIA) for Chinese travelers.

QDF operates over 90 stores with over 185 points of sale.

With over 600 million active users in China, Alipay is the world’s largest mobile payment network, sharing approximately 54.1% of China’s mobile payment market by total transaction volume.

Over the past few years, the Chinese outbound tourism in Qatar has continuously increased, reaching 135 million travelers in 2016.

Last year, Qatar was granted Approved Destination Status (ADS) in China, allowing it to promote its tourism destinations within China. Recognizing this trend, Qatar Airways aims to offer its Chinese guests their familiar payment method.

Head of Qatar Duty Free, Thabet Musleh, said: “HIA is a world-class shopping destination, and it’s important to continue to provide our passengers with the best, most convenient shopping experience during their journey through the award-winning airport. The Chinese market is very important. Thanks to our strong partnership with Wirecard, we are able to keep these high standards and fulfil the needs of our Chinese customers by offering them their domestic payment method.”

Robert Gottinger, Head of Airline Sales at Wirecard, commented: “We are delighted to increase our long-term collaboration with Qatar Airways and we are looking forward to continue expanding it in future. By offering Alipay as a new payment method, Qatar Duty Free benefits from a whole marketing platform to target arriving passengers from China even better. Our experience through the collaboration with other airport retailers have shown that in the first three months since the launch of the new payment method, the average amount spent by Chinese tourists has increased by 92%.”

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