Malaysia's largest duty-free and travel retail operator Malaysia Airports (Niaga) Sdn Bhd, better known as Eraman, is partnering with Alipay to widen its business reach and attract shoppers from China.
Eraman is a subsidiary of Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd (MAHB) while Alipay is an online and mobile payment platform operated by Ant Financial Services Group.
According to a statement by MAHB, Eraman will now be able to tap into 520 million Alipay users, of whom 4.5 million are Chinese tourists travelling to Malaysia including Kota Kinabalu, annually.
It added that with Alipay integrated into its portfolio of Malayan Banking Bhd (Maybank) and CIMB Bank Bhd, by using the in-store online payment solution at all Eraman outlets nationwide, Eraman is confident that this new payment mode will improve the Chinese travellers' shopping experience at the airports.
"Security and speed are important to us as we look to enable our Chinese travellers to walk into our outlets while travelling abroad and pay for purchases with the Alipay, just like they do in China.
"This in-store payment will act as the settlement, allowing Chinese travellers to pay for their transactions in Yuan (Renminbi) without having concerns on the exchange rate. This is done through a simple swipe and barcode-scanning method.
"All Eraman retail outlets in KLIA and klia2 including duty-free emporium and lifestyle stores began accepting Alipay in June 2017. However, Eraman food and beverage and retail outlets in Kota Kinabalu, Kuching, Penang, Langkawi and Labuan began accepting Alipay since the end of August.
"In China, this payment system is a way of life for shopping and many other activities, and given the growing number of Chinese travellers here, we are hoping for a high uptake.â€
In conjunction with this smart partnership, Eraman has launched a special promotion starting from Sept 1 to Dec 31, 2017, whereby all Chinese travellers who use Alipay will be entitled to an e-voucher of RMB100 when they spend RMB1,000 at participating Eraman retail outlets, said MAHB.
This e-voucher can be redeemed for the second purchase at Eraman outlets within 24 hours, added MAHB.
"Alipay users will also be able to enjoy up to 10 per cent off for purchases made at Eraman's F&B outlets and its convenience store, EXpress" said MAHB, adding that the discount can be used for the second purchase at Eraman within 24 hours.
"We continue to diversify our offerings, embrace the many exciting possibilities and grow our presence in the leading airports in Malaysia.
"This is our way of supporting Malaysia Airports' total airport experience initiative by means of having an alternate payment method and providing ease for our Chinese customers who happen to be one of our top three passenger groups in terms of nationality.â€
MAHB said Chinese travellers remain the highest ticket size contributor at KLIA and klia2.
Eraman recorded a double-digit percentage growth in sales value with perfumes and cosmetics, liquor, tobacco boosted by purchases from the Chinese travellers.
"This is all due to the price and variety of the offerings which are more competitive compared to downtown especially for perfumes, cosmetics and liquor.â€
Meanwhile, in terms of ranking for Chinese travellers received regionally, Malaysia comes in third after Thailand and Singapore. Alipay's country manager of Malaysia, Greta Gunawan, said that they are excited to partner Eraman, a very strong player in the duty-free industry.
"With this partnership, we'll help Eraman to reach out to more Chinese customers by utilising the Alipay marketing platform to market various top brands and products offered by Eraman.
"Duty-free shops are always on the must-visit list of Chinese tourists. In the future, Alipay users can check shop details and special offers via the in-app Discovery platform even before they depart to Malaysia" said Greta.