Alipay+ Makes Travel Payments More Accessible Across the UAE Ahead of Chinese New Year | The Fintech Times

International visitors can now travel by taxi across the United Arab Emirates (UAE) as Alipay+, the cross-border digital payment and marketing solutions provider, partners with key industries and government bodies.

Through partnership with Abu Dhabi’s Integrated Transport Centre (ITC) and the Dubai Roads and Transport Authority (RTA), payments made via Alipay+ are now accepted on taxis operating in the United Arab Emirates. Additionally, Chinese visitors to the UAE can now receive their tax refunds instantly at airports.

These digital services which have rolled out in the UAE’s major destinations comes ahead of a traditional peak travel season for the upcoming Chinese New Year, as the region emerges to become one of the most sought-out holiday destinations among Chinese visitors.

Some of the supported e-wallets include:

  • Alipay (Chinese mainland)
  • AlipayHK (Hong Kong SAR China)
  • MPay (Macao SAR China)
  • Kakao Pay
  • Naver Pay
  • Toss Pay (South Korea)
  • OCBC (Singapore)
  • Touch&Go (Malaysia),
  • GCash (The Philippines)
  • TrueMoney (Thailand)
  • Tinaba (Italy).

In Abu Dhabi, travellers can scan the QR code on the POS terminal with around 6,000 Abu Dhabi taxis. Meanwhile, in Dubai, they can scan the QR code on the taxi meter with around 11,000 Dubai taxis. It covers almost the majority of UAE attractions, connecting Dubai and Abu Dhabi conveniently for travellers in UAE.

To enable this partnership, Alipay+ has collaborated with local partners in the UAE. These include:

  • the Dubai Department of Economy and Tourism (DET)
  • Roads and Transport Authority (RTA)
  • Network International in Dubai and Department of Culture and TourismAbu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi)
  • Integrated Transport Centre (ITC)
  • Payby
  • Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank (ADCB) in Abu Dhabi.
Responding to the partnerships

Integrated Transport Centre (ITC) said: “UAE capital Abu Dhabi’s network of taxis enables an essential transportation function for residents and visitors to experience all the capital has to offer. By integrating Alipay+ payment technology across taxis operating under the UAE’s ITC, travellers from The Philippines, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Chinese mainland, Hong Kong and Macau, South Korea, Mongolia and Italy can now pay for fares using their preferred e-wallets, conveniently and securely.”

Guoming Cheng, general manager of Ant Group
Guoming Cheng, general manager of Ant Group

Guoming Cheng, general manager of Ant Group in Europe and Middle East, said:  “We are thrilled to integrate Alipay+ cross-border payment technology and marketing solutions across all taxis operating under the UAE’s ITC and RTA governing bodies.

“This technology facilitates convenient mobile payment options. Visitors and residents alike can enjoy a seamless experience when travelling around the capital of UAE and Dubai. From Abu Dhabi taxis to leading retailers and tourism facilities, we are looking forward to upgrading the checkout experience across the region. We want to support the growth of smart travel and the growth of local businesses in UAE.”

Chinese visitors to UAE can now utilise real-time tax refund service with Alipay

A real-time tax refund service at UAE major airports is also live for Chinese visitors to the United Arab Emirates. This has been possible by a new partnership between Alipay and Planet Tax Free, the global tax refund agency.

Customers shopping at retail destinations including Dubai Mall, Mall of the Emirates, Galerie Lafayette and Harvey Nichols can now reclaim their tax refund real-time once they exit the border, instantly and conveniently.

Upon arrival at the airports’ customs counter, Chinese visitors can receive their tax refund instantly through the Alipay tax refund mini-program. They simply scan the QR code displayed at the counter and present their Alipay code to the staff. This solution is provided by Alipay+, and is expected to cover more e-wallets in the near future.

Cheng said: “We are pleased to launch this innovative service with our global partner Planet. Starting with Alipay users, we hope to ensure a more convenient and efficient tax refund service for international visitors and we are looking forward to expanding such convenience and peace-of-mind to users of more Alipay+ e-wallets and bank partners from all over the world.”

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