CFOtech Asia - Technology news for CFOs & financial decision-makers
Story image
Central Retail partners with Ant Group to launch Alipay+
Mon, 14th Aug 2023

Central Retail Corporation (CRC) joins forces with Ant Group to launch Alipay+ at its stores to enhance convenience for Asian tourists shopping in Thailand.

Users can easily make digital payments via their local digital wallet, including Alipay (Chinese mainland), AlipayHK (Hong Kong SAR), Touch 'n Go eWallet (Malaysia) and Kakao Pay (South Korea) without having to carry cash or exchange to Thai currency.

Payments can be made across over 3,000 stores nationwide under Central Retail, including Central and Robinson Department Stores, Supersports, Tops, Power Buy, B2S, OfficeMate, Matsukiyo, Tops Vita and Muji, unlocking greater convenience and choice for tourists in Thailand.

Piyawan Leelasompop, Head of Corporate Marketing, Central Retail Corporation PCL, says: "This partnership between Central Retail and Ant Group to launch Alipay+ in Thailand will increase digital payment channels for Central Retail customers, delivering comprehensive services to serve consumers who prefer cashless payments." 

"The company aims to target Asian tourists travelling to Thailand, providing convenience for those shopping at brands under Central Retail via Alipay+ with their local mobile wallet."

"Additionally, users can also receive promotions and special privileges provided by Central Retail and international mobile wallet providers, delivering next-level shopping experiences."

There are also plans in the pipeline to expand payment services, accommodating tourists from other countries, including Asia and Europe," says Leelasompop.

The launch of Alipay+ in Thailand is also in line with the increase of Asian tourists travelling to Thailand. For the first half of 2023, there were over 12.46 million international tourists, with the top 5 countries including Malaysia, China, Russia, South Korea, and India. The total number of international tourists is expected to reach 25 million people this year. 

With Central Retail housing a wide range of leading brands and shops, its stores are considered popular destinations for international travellers in Thailand. Sales from international travellers increased to almost 200% compared to the same period last year and 16% compared to the same period in 2019 (before the spread of Covid-19).

"The launch of digital payment service Alipay+ will elevate the CRC Ecosystem by bringing the best technologies and systems from around the world to drive inclusive growth for our customers, brands and partners as well as deliver next-level experiences for consumers in every dimension," says Leelasompop.

"This is in line with the CRC Retailligence strategy, in which we aim to drive leaping growth within five years and become Asia's Next-Gen Omni Retailer." 

Sittipong Kittiprapapong, General Manager for Global Merchant Partnership in Thailand, Ant Group, says: "It is considered an important partnership between Ant Group and Central Retail in offering modern and convenient services so international customers can make borderless digital payments."

"Additionally, Alipay+ will enable vendors in Central Retail to accept digital payments from Asian tourists as well as provide a convenient platform for international shoppers to browse products throughout their time in Thailand, delivering convenient and seamless experiences just as if they are in their home country."

"Alipay+ is a global cross-border digital payment platform and a marketing solution that helps businesses offer its customers more options for digital payment." 

"We are committed to support businesses to connect with over 1 billion consumers across the region and the world via a comprehensive operating system that delivers ease and convenience," says Sittipong.