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AUB e-wallet rides Philippine tourism boom
Partnership with China’s Alipay+ boosts cross-border digital payments, connectivity
The Asset 27 Sep 2023

Asia United Bank (AUB), a publicly listed universal bank in the Philippines, is enabling more local merchants to accept cross-border digital payments from Hong Kong, South Korea and Malaysia via Alipay+ and AUB PayMate.

With the market expansion, travellers can now pay using their home country’s e-wallets for purchases related to tourism, retail, food and beverage (F&B), entertainment and attractions in the Philippines. This includes e-wallets AlipayHK (Hong Kong), Kakao Pay (South Korea) and Touch ‘n Go eWallet (Malaysia), in addition to Alipay (mainland China), which has been accepted by Filipino merchants since 2017.

At present, AUB PayMate has enabled Alipay+ acceptance in over 5,000 stores in Manila and Cebu, two of the most popular travel destinations in the Philippines. AUB PayMate is the bank’s all-in-one digital payment acceptance product that enables all types of merchants to accept digital payments –  whether local or foreign e-wallets, bank payments and cards – from their customers.

SSP Mactan, an operator of F&B outlets in travel locations, is among the first in the Philippines that used Alipay+, including at all of its stores in the Mactan-Cebu International Airport, one of the country’s busiest travel hubs.

The Philippine government’s tourism department has been stepping up efforts to digitalize tourism services across the country to boost the sector. As of June 2023, 2.67 million tourists have visited the country, with South Koreans topping the list of international visitors and Malaysia ranking in the top 10, according to the department’s figures.

“We see a resurgence of inbound personal travels this year so our partnership with Alipay+, the first in the Philippine banking industry, will give a much-needed boost to merchants serving the tourism sector,” says Mags V. Surtida, the bank’s senior vice-president and head of its cards and acquiring group. “Expect more foreign wallets to be added under this unified QR [quick response] code.”

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