Chinese mobile payment giant Alipay reached a deal earlier this month to allow its users to make purchases at four million U.S. merchants served by payments processor First Data Corp. But there are already companies in the market competing to simplify the payment process for the millions of Chinese travelers and customers in the U.S..
China processed 2.3 trillion U.S. dollars in mobile payments, which is fourteen times more than in the U.S. last year. As five million Chinese tourists are expected to make their way to the U.S. this year, some people may experience culture shock in dealing with older payment methods.
Crystal Jade's Marketing Manager Catherine Fenelon lived in China for a number of years, and recognizes the value of accepting Chinese mobile payments. She says the majority of people who use the method don't speak English, so it is much easier for them to use a payment method that they are used to using, like Alipay.
Citcon is a Silicon Valley startup founded by Paypal and Visa veteran Chuck Huang. It is the first web-based processing system in the U.S. that accepts Alipay and Wechat Pay. Citcon estimates Chinese travelers will spend 30 billion dollars in the U.S. this year, and it will be doubled by 2020.