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To improve the digital travel experience to and from Sri Lanka, Alipay+ works with LankaPay.

To improve the digital travel experience to and from Sri Lanka, Alipay+ works with LankaPay.

In order to improve inbound and outbound travel experiences through cross-border digital payments, Alipay+ and LankaPay recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU). This will allow users of Alipay+ payment partners to easily make payments at more than 400,000 LankaQR merchants throughout Sri Lanka. Sri Lankans traveling abroad will be able to use their LankaQR-enabled apps to scan and pay at Alipay+ businesses worldwide thanks to the cooperation.

By the beginning of 2024, users of popular Asian e-wallets from the region, such as those from Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR), the Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, and Thailand, will be able to make cashless payments when they visit Sri Lanka using Alipay+, a collection of international cross-border digital payment, marketing, and digitalization solutions run by Ant Group. All they need to do is scan the LankaQR. In the near future, more electronic wallets are anticipated to join.

The Central Bank of Sri Lanka launched the LankaQR project to ensure that all QR codes and transactions utilizing QR technology are uniform and compatible in Sri Lanka. The LankaQR network was launched in 2020 and is run and administered by LankaPay, which also runs Sri Lanka’s National Payment Network.

Channa de Silva, Chief Executive Officer of LankaPay, welcomed Alipay+ on board with the following statement: “We are delighted to announce this important partnership with Alipay+, which is a significant milestone in our effort to facilitate seamless cross-border transactions in support of our vision to become a global player in digital payments. We are confident that this agreement will make it easier for Asian visitors to Sri Lanka and a more appealing offer, particularly for SME merchants with significantly lower commission rates than card payments. We therefore anticipate that our initiatives will inevitably encourage more SME merchants to adopt digital platforms, which is crucial for creating the nation’s digital eco-system and advancing both the tourism sector and the national economy.

By the end of 2024, the Alipay+ global merchant network will also accept all e-wallets enabled by LankaPay, allowing Sri Lankans traveling abroad to pay with their convenient domestic e-wallet. Tens of millions of retailers across more than 50 countries today accept Alipay+.

Additionally, Alipay+ and LankaPay will collaborate on collaborative marketing initiatives to advertise Sri Lanka as a travel destination and local businesses that cater to tourists abroad.

“Alipay+ continues to accelerate the transition to digital travel in more regions through our integrations with national standardized QR codes, this time in Sri Lanka with LankaPay,” said Dr. Cherry Huang, general manager of Alipay+ Offline Merchant Services, Ant Group. We’ve witnessed a change in travel tastes as the global travel industry recovers, including more expectations for how digital solutions should improve traveler experiences and a greater desire to visit previously undiscovered locations. We’re therefore quite thrilled about how our collaboration with LankaPay will make it easier for visitors to identify and pay for goods and services at local merchants, creating growth potential for local companies.

In comparison to the 720,000 visitors it received during 2022, Sri Lanka saw more than 1 million visitors from January through September of this year[1]. Monthly increases in arrivals have been observed since January, and in September, the number of visitors jumped by 275% over the same month last year. The Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority is optimistic that they would attract more tourists than their 1.5 million annual target. As a result, as of August, it had contributed more than USD 1.3 billion to the tourism industry, an increase of 56% from the previous year[2]. Sri Lanka has the ability to draw from a broader base of Chinese and Asian visitors as a result of China opening its borders earlier this year for its nationals to travel abroad. Local firms must adjust to these new digital habits since Asian consumers are knowledgeable users of digital solutions like e-wallet payments.

The acceptance of LankaQR by both large and small businesses nationwide would help visitors to make quick payments at more Sri Lankan destinations. This would be consistent with the initiative by the Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority to market the island’s lesser-known attractions. Additionally, Sri Lanka has gained acclaim from around the world for its attractions, including being home to one of the “Top Wildlife Safaris Outside of Africa” in 2023.

Through a one-time integration and straightforward technical adaption, Alipay+, which was introduced by Ant Group in 2020, enables local businesses, particularly small and medium-sized ones, to process a wide range of mobile payment methods and reach more than 1.4 billion regional and global consumers. The Alipay+ ecosystem allows for the acceptance of digital payments from e-wallets, banking applications, and buy-now-pay-later (BNPL) apps at millions of businesses worldwide. Popular travel destinations including the Chinese mainland, Macao Special Administrative Region, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Japan, South Korea, the United Arab Emirates, Italy, France, and Spain are just a few that accept it widely.

Source- Travel daily


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