12 April 2017, Written by Ben Hall

BPS Technology (ASX: BPS) has announced it has teamed up with online retail behemoth Alibaba to tap the revenue potential of 1.4 million Chinese tourists who visit Australia each year by offering their preferred payment method through an app on hand held devices.

The Southport-based FinTech company, which owns Bartercard and the Entertainment Book, will handle Alibaba's payment system Alipay and initially target tourism businesses on the Gold Coast and help them access the $9 billion that Chinese visitors spent in Australia in 2016.

Of the 1.4 million Chinese tourists in Australia in 2016, more than 400,000 visited the Gold Coast and the average spend per person was $3,500 while in the city. A recent survey revealed the Gold Coast was China's favourite western city and ranked fourth in the world.

"Alipay has 400 million loyal users in China and is used in 40 percent of all retail transactions in that country and this is how most of those visitors want to pay," BPS Technology CEO Trevor Dietz said at the official launch of the collaboration between his company and Alipay at Broadbeach on the Gold Coast.

"They trust the Alipay system and want to use it. They don't want to use cash and those that have credit cards have small limits compared to, say Australia and New Zealand," he says.

"So, we want to make sure our merchants out here are on board with Alipay. The potential for them, and for the creation of jobs and income, really is quite something."

Dietz says BPS not only plans to provide a payment system for the Chinese visitors, who spend $8.9 billion annually in Australia, but to also to point them directly to the Australian merchants which are set up with Alipay.

He says the BPS-Alipay platform will engage directly with Chinese visitors and offer integrated loyalty and rewards programs which will ultimately drive their purchasing choices.

"The typical Chinese visitors who comes to Australia has changed over the years quite substantially," Dietz says.

"They used to be in tour groups and it was said they didn't spend money. Now we have mostly independent travellers and they want to spend.

"They're also very methodical in their approach to being on holiday. They'll plan most of their day and we can help them do that by directing them to our merchants."

Alibaba Group's director of corporate affairs and market for Australia and New Zealand, James Hudson, says the potential for local business to capitalise on the BPS-Alipay tie-up is enormous.

"Putting a figure on what this could be worth is almost impossible. But you look at the statistics and the potential is there, no doubt," Hudson (pictured above with Trevor Dietz) says.

"In China, they pretty much evolved straight from a cash based system to paying by app on phone with Alipay. They skipped the credit card altogether," he says.

"With the Chinese market, it's all about mobile and engaging them that way. Mobile growth has grown so rapidly and 82 percent of the value of retail transactions are done on mobile."

Business News Australia
Author: Ben Hall





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