Marriott International and Ant Financial Services Group, an independent financial group and an ecosystem partner of Alibaba Group, have formed an agreement to roll out Alipay, an innovative payment option, to hotels and resorts under Marriott International's brands. Guests at select Marriott International hotels will be given the option to pay for their hotel stays, food and beverage purchases as well as for meeting and event bookings using Alipay on their smartphones.
Working with China's largest e-payments provider, Marriott International will initially activate Alipay at 10 hotels in greater China, gradually expanding to other hotels in China and across Asia by mid-2016. Marriott also expects to introduce Alipay to properties in key markets outside Asia by the end of 2016.
The first hotels to install Alipay will be:
- The Ritz-Carlton, Sanya, Yalong Bay
- The Ritz-Carlton, Hong Kong
- JW Marriott Hotel Hong Kong
- JW Marriott Hotel Shanghai at Tomorrow Square
- Shanghai Marriott Hotel City Centre
- Shanghai Marriott Hotel Pudong East
- Renaissance Beijing Wangfujing Hotel
- Renaissance Beijing Capital Hotel
- Renaissance Hong Kong Harbour View Hotel
- Courtyard Hong Kong Sha Tin
Alipay currently has 400 million registered users and 200 financial institution partners. It handles over 120 million transactions daily, of which mobile payment accounts for more than half. Hotel guests can scan their unique QR code or barcode at check-out to settle their bills, or pre-pay before arrival – an innovative payment option will fast-track check-outs.
For a limited time at participating hotels, Marriott Rewards members who book through Marriott's direct channels like Marriott.com or Marriott.com.cn and use Alipay can enjoy a discount of up to 8 percent on 'best available rate' or 'best available rate with breakfast'.
The Chinese International Travel monitor reports that 59 percent of Chinese international travelers rate local payment solutions as the second most important feature a hotel should have after free Wi-Fi. Alipay is one of the most trusted and popular mobile payment options with Chinese travelers, who lead the world in numbers of outbound tourists and purchasing power. It is expected that Chinese outbound travelers will reach 200 million by 2020.