Ant Group, the operator of Alipay+, has announced that up to four mobile wallets can now be accepted in the Philippines providing a more seamless travel experience for Asian tourists.

The new additions include AlipayHK (Hong Kong SAR), Kakao Pay (South Korea) and Touch ‘n Go eWallet (Malaysia). Alipay (Chinese mainland) has been accepted by Filipino merchants since 2017.

This enables travellers from these regions to enjoy a cashless experience, using just their home mobile wallets to make payment, the firm said. The acceptance of three new mobile wallets, via Alipay+, comes as travellers return to the Philippines. According to the Department of Tourism (DOT), more than 3 million tourists have visited the Philippines from January 1 to July 19, 2023. The DOT also shared that inbound tourism receipts from January 1 to June 30, 2023, are more than 500% higher than the same period last year. South Koreans top the list of international visitors to the Philippines, while Malaysia ranks in the top 10.

Alipay+ is currently accepted by merchants in Manila and Cebu, the top two most visited cities in the Philippines pre-pandemic in 2019. In the first half of 2023, Mactan-Cebu International Airport (MICA) saw a 219% increase in passengers compared to the same period last year. The airport has reportedly integrated Alipay+ across 90% of its merchants for a more digitally-enhanced cashless experience.

Athanasios Titonis, Aboitiz InfraCapital Chief Executive Officer assigned to MCIA, said: “At MCIA, we have always placed utmost importance on providing convenience and ease of travel through seamless processes and world-class services and amenities. The integration of Alipay+ gives our passengers that exceptional convenience and more payment options when they travel through MCIA.”

Mactan-Cebu International Airport (MCIA) is the second largest airport in the Philippines with over 11 million passengers annually, making it the second busiest airport in the country. To date, MCIA is the only airport in the Philippines to receive the Airport Customer Experience (ACX) accreditation from the Airports Council International.

Commenting on the new development, Dr. Cherry Huang, General Manager of Alipay+ Offline Merchant Services at Ant Group, said: “Philippines and its many islands, such as Cebu, have long been a favourite destination for Asian travellers and we look forward to working with our local partners to enhance their travel experience. We believe that digital adoption and solutions will shape travellers’ expectations, particularly in the way they engage travel-related businesses, from airports and hospitality to F&B and retail stores.”

He added: “Our focus now is to work with more partners to onboard more merchants with Alipay+ across the Philippines, particularly local small businesses, and promote digital travel and travel recovery.