Bicester Village partners with Alipay

Bicester Village has partnered with wallet app, Alipay, to allow Chinese shoppers to pay for goods on their mobiles at all nine The Bicester Village Shopping Collection outlets in Europe.

The cashless mobile payment will be accepted in 300 boutiques by June.

Shoppers can use the payment app to pay for goods and receive immediate tax refunds on their shopping. Meanwhile, geolocation technology will trigger push notifications to help shoppers find boutiques while walking around the outlets. These notifications will also feature tailored promotions and offer help with purchase decisions. Alipay users will also receive preferential foreign exchange rates.

Statistics from Visit Britain reported that more than 250,000 Chinese tourists visited the UK in 2016, spending more than £500 million, while French Tourism Bureau Atout France stated almost two million Chinese tourists visited the country in 2017.

“Alipay is building a platform that enables Chinese consumers to seamlessly travel internationally, and our marketing partnership with The Bicester Village Shopping Collection is a huge step towards providing a holistic retail experience across Europe,” said Pamela Hsieh, head of marketing, EMEA at Alipay.

“The marketing partnership will also empower the retailers found at each of the Villages within The Bicester Village Shopping Collection, who will find it easier to engage with the growing number of high-spending Chinese tourists visiting Europe, by offering them the retail and payment experience they are used to at home.”

Speaking to Essential Retail last month, Tao Tao, EMEA business development director at Alipay, explained that mobile payments have taken longer to emerge in Europe because card payment is so well established,

“But in China mobile payments are in high demand,” he said. “China has effectively jumped from a cash-only society to a mobile-only society. To a large extent, it skipped debit cards and went straight to mobile payments.”