Helsinki Airport in Finland has become one of the first destinations in Europe to begin accepting AliPay, a mobile payment application from China. The airport says Chinese passengers are its most rapidly growing customer group, as well as the highest spending, and decided to allow the use of a payment system from this group’s home country.
Seven shopping outlets within the airport have enabled AliPay for the payment of goods and services, with others said to be interested. AliPay is part of the world’s largest online trading company, AliBaba, and is China’s leading mobile payment giant, with around 400 million users, according to its website. Munich and Frankfurt in Germany are believed to be among the other European airports where AliPay can now be used.
Helsinki Airport offers the shortest flight route between Europe and Asia, which has helped to increase the numbers of Chinese travelers. Finavia, the operator of the airport, has already introduced Chinese-speaking services guides and added Chinese signposting. In autumn 2016, a staff exchange program between Finavia and Beijing Airport took place to increase cultural awareness between the countries.
Elena Stenholm, director of commercial services at Helsinki Airport, said, “We work in close cooperation with our commercial partners to develop the customer experience. AliPay has been received very well, and we encourage businesses to enable it. If the biggest commercial operators at the airport come along, the number of outlets accepting AliPay will increase tenfold at once.”
Written by Chris Anderson