Alipay Taps Yelp to Enrich Chinese Travel Experience
Alipay has inked a slew of partnerships lately. The latest deal for the Chinese app is with Yelp and connects local businesses with Chinese travelers, a move that’s likely to boost loyalty and transaction volume in one fell swoop.
The partnership connects Yelp’s local content to millions of Chinese travelers directly within Alipay’s mobile lifestyle app, the companies said. By creating added value for users, Alipay likely will increase loyalty and boost its own payment volume.
With the beta launch kicking off Aug. 15, any of Alipay’s more than 520 million users visiting New York City, Los Angeles, Las Vegas and San Francisco can discover, plan, make reservations, share experiences and perhaps pay at any local business using Yelp’s content. Additional cities and countries will be added in 2017.
“Our partnership with Yelp expedites our goal toward a digital lifestyle and represents a substantial opportunity for U.S. businesses to connect with the growing audience of Chinese travelers that would otherwise be difficult to reach,” said Souheil Badran, president, Alipay, North America. “Alipay is already the trusted lifestyle app for Chinese consumers at home, and our growing suite of location-based content and services will continue to elevate their experiences when they travel abroad.”
Through the Alipay app’s Discover tab, Chinese travelers in the U.S. are able to access Yelp content to find local restaurants, bars and shops, get directions, read review snippets in English, make reservations as well as pay in Chinese yuan at retailers that accept Alipay.
The number of Chinese travelers in North America is expected to grow to 4 million, Alipay said.
The deal underscores a common refrain in the payments world: Mobile wallets need to do more than facilitate payment. By connecting travelers to useful local information, Alipay is set to do just that.