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Over 100 Finnish businesses show interest in Alipay payment solution

Over 100 Finnish businesses show interest in Alipay payment solution

Alipay, China’s largest online and mobile payment and lifestyle platform, has attracted great interest from Finnish retailers, hotels, restaurants and service providers such as transport companies and travel agencies. Alipay is operated by Ant Financial Services Group, a related company of Alibaba Group. On April 5, Alipay and their Finnish partner ePassi, partnered with Finland’s trade promotion agency Finpro and organized a workshop for more than 100 Finnish companies who wanted to hear more about how they can serve Chinese travelers better in Finland.

Alipay has over 450 million active users in China and beyond and was a pioneer in the now-ubiquitous mobile payments market, and remains the most popular online payment tool in China. Alipay also enables in-store payments in many overseas markets popular with Chinese tourist, and has been accepted in 70 countries and regions, with in-store payments covering more than 100,000 retail stores.

“In Finland, Alipay was first accepted in Rovaniemi last December. The number of merchants has surpassed 200 within three months. Alipay users can now shop in-flight on Finnair flights to China, and get tax refund to their Alipay accounts instantly at Global Blue counters in Helsinki Airport,” said Rita Liu, Head of Alipay Europe. “The seamless in-app payment and marketing solutions provided by Alipay creates a cashless, efficient and productive way to do business. We are dedicated to enhancing our technology-backed payment and marketing services, to benefit both Chinese tourists and Finnish merchants.”

“We are very pleased that Finnish businesses are showing such a keen interest in the Alipay payment solution. Chinese travelers do not use western credit cards as readily as travelers of other nationalities, but rather prefer their own payment methods. Last year, the number of Chinese travelers to Finland increased by 35% from 2015 reaching 356,000 visitors, and the amount of money spent averaged at 940 euros per visitor. The business opportunity is clearly there,” said Paavo Virkkunen, EVP and head of Visit Finland at Finpro.

Finpro has been building awareness for Alibaba and Ant’s different services among Finnish businesses over the past year: in October a workshop was organized for Finnish brands around the opportunities offered by online retailers Tmall and Tmall Global to enter the Chinese market. In November, Alibaba’s Fliggy, formerly known as Alitrip, launched its new brand in an event in Lapland streamed live to 100 million Chinese viewers in China in collaboration with Visit Rovaniemi and Finpro’s Visit Finland.

 “We at ePassi are very happy and highly motivated to partner with Alipay because we are together building an ecosystem to create a win-win-win situation in Finland and tighten the relationship between the two countries. The end customers (Chinese tourists) will be more satisfied when having their most familiar payment method (Alipay) when they are in Finland. This satisfaction will result in higher purchasing motivation which brings more revenue to Finnish businesses. Meanwhile, Finnish brands, products and services will be marketed via the Alipay channels and thus get more known in China,” said Alexander Yin, Chief Financial Officer at TCG Group, the mother company of ePassi.

“Finnair introduced Alipay mobile payment on board as the first airline in the world. Our Chinese customers are now able to make payments for inflight purchases such as tax free items or buy themselves an Economy Comfort seat with Alipay, and the feedback has been great.” says Mikko Turtiainen, Vice President, Global Sales at Finnair. “Taking advantage of the opportunities provided by digitalization is an integral part of Finnair's accelerated growth strategy, and the introduction of Alipay onboard is part of our commitment to continuously develop a better travel experience for our customers and to enhance the customer experience with digital solutions.”

The Finpro – Alipay – ePassi information session was held at Team Finland House on 5 April 2017 and attracted 170 participants from 117 companies.

Additional information:
Jonna Wibelius, Program Director, Finpro, tel. +358 50 468 1764, email jonna.wibelius@finpro.fi
Hetta Huittinen, Communications Manager, Finpro, tel. +358 40 033 9597, email hetta.huittinen@finpro.fi

About Finpro

Finpro helps Finnish SMEs go international, encourages foreign direct investment in Finland and promotes tourism. Finpro is formed by Export Finland, Visit Finland and Invest in Finland. Finpro is a public organisation with 240 professionals working in 37 trade centers in 31 countries and 6 regional offices in Finland. Finpro is part of the Team Finland network. www.finpro.fi Finpro – Growth for Finland