Payment methods

From: Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada

Offering a familiar and reliable payment method will go a long way toward helping tourists from China feel comfortable and encouraging them to spend money at your business.

One of the most popular payment methods among tourists from China is UnionPay; 62% name UnionPay as a preferred method of payment for booking accommodations while travelling. UnionPay has been available in Canada since 2009 and is now accepted at over 150,000 merchants and at 90% of ATMs across the country. Vancouver's CF Pacific Centre and Toronto's Yorkdale Mall house dozens of the many Canadian businesses that successfully implemented UnionPay to improve the shopping experience for tourists from China. In March 2018, UnionPay and the Tourism Industry Association of Canada (TIAC) announced a partnership to collaborate on business development and joint promotional activities, and UnionPay contributes to TIAC's 2018 Tourism Town Hall series.

Another preferred method of payment among tourists from China is mobile payment applications—digital wallets that allow users to make purchases at points of sale by scanning or holding their phones in front of a terminal and transferring money between accounts. These platforms also allow people to make web payments using their mobile device. The most popular mobile payment methods among tourists from China are Alipay and WeChat Pay, with 31% and 9% of tourists, respectively, preferring these platforms to book accommodations.

Alipay is accepted at many Canadian merchants, mainly in Vancouver and Toronto. WeChat Pay is built off the popular mobile messenger platform WeChat. Tourism Toronto and OTT Financial partnered to introduce WeChat Pay and Alipay to Toronto, where they have been rolled out in the Yorkdale Shopping Centre, Square One Mall, the CN Tower and Ripley's Aquarium of Canada. Tourism attractions across New Brunswick have also successfully implemented AliPay and WeChat Pay to better serve Chinese tourists.

Tourists from China also use common North American payment methods such as Visa, Mastercard and cash.

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