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First Overseas Transport Card For Chinese Tourists

Partnership between NETS and Alipay allows Chinese tourists to purchase Flashpay card before heading to the Lion City

Hassle-free travel for Chinese tourists – Alipay FlashPay card accepted on local transit and taxis

Singapore — Chinese tourists visiting Singapore can now purchase a Flashpay card that can be used on local transit even before leaving home, thanks to a partnership between NETS and Alipay.

To make outbound travel more seamless for Chinese tourists planning a trip to the Lion City, NETS and Alipay today launched the first overseas transport card that can be purchased right off Alipay Wallet, Alipay’s mobile wallet, which has 190 million active users across China.

Chinese tourists travel trends

According to the World Tourism Cities Federation1 , Chinese tourists are most concerned about transportation when travelling abroad and tend to prefer taking public transportation overseas.

Added to that is an increase in online travel transactions amongst Chinese travellers. The same report notes that the Chinese are becoming more comfortable with making travel arrangements online as opposed to going to a travel agency. In 2013, Chinese Online Travel Agents’ revenue was 11.76 billion Yuan, an increase of 26.2% over the previous year2.

Mr Ang Sok Hong, Senior Vice President, Sales, NETS said, “The availability of our cobrand transit card on Alipay will, we hope, boost the ease of trip planning and outbound travel for tourists coming to Singapore.

“Given Alipay’s popularity amongst Chinese consumers and its volume of traffic, it was only natural for us to partner with Alipay to see how we could make outbound travel more seamless for Chinese tourism.”

In June 2014, Alipay joined hands with NETS to allow Singapore consumers to make direct debit payments for purchases from Taobao Marketplaces and Tmall.com, two of China’s most popular online shopping websites.

“We are excited to work with Nets again in this effort to respond to the growing needs of China’s outbound travelers," said Wendy Sun, head of Business Development for Alipay in Southeast Asia. "This transportation card will provide Chinese tourists a hassle-free travel experience and we look toward to making this collaboration a great success.”

Collaboration with Changi Airport Group

Mr Peh Ke-Wei, Vice-President, Passenger Development, Changi Airport Group (CAG), said, “We are delighted to join hands with NETS and Alipay in this partnership to attract more Chinese tourists to visit Singapore. China is an important market to Changi Airport and is currently our fifth largest source market in terms of passenger numbers. CAG is constantly on the look-out to collaborate with like-minded partners to boost passenger traffic to and via Changi Airport.”

China is an important source market for Singapore. They have consistently been the second largest visitor market for the past 5 years, with some 2.27m Chinese tourists visiting Singapore in 20133 .

Added Mr Ang, “Visitors can now get going from the moment they touch down without having to worry about the logistics of buying a transit card. They can travel straightaway!”

Alipay FlashPay Card

To purchase the card, users simply log into their registered account via Alipay Wallet, the Alipay mobile app. An e-voucher will be sent to their Alipay Wallet. To collect their Flashpay card, travellers simply present the e-voucher at designated “Changi Recommends” counters at Changi Airport upon touchdown.

The cobrand Alipay Flashpay card costs S$50 (comprising a card cost of S$5 and a stored value of S$45). Customers are allowed to purchase up to five Alipay FlashPay Cards. Those who redeem the card between 27 Nov 2014 and 31 Mar 2015 will receive a S$20 voucher, courtesy of Changi Airport Group, a partner of this collaboration.

1 Market Research Report on Chinese Outbound Tourist (City) Consumption, August 2014
2 China Online Travel Market Outlook in 2014, iResearch
3 Annual Tourism Report 2013, Singapore Tourism Board