Marriott International and Ant Financial Services Group, an independent financial group and an ecosystem partner of Alibaba Group, announced today an agreement to roll out Alipay, an innovative payment option, to hotels and resorts under Marriott International’s brands.
With this agreement, 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. The agreement represents another step in Marriott’s creation of a complete mobile-powered travel experience that is effortless, seamless and more rewarding for its guests. 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. To better serve China visitors traveling abroad, 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:
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. With this growth, Marriott expects Alipay to become an important payment method for the travel and meetings industry in Asia with broadening adoption outside of China.
Speaking at the launch event, Craig S. Smith, President & Managing Director of Marriott International, Asia Pacific said, “Marriott International is playing a leading role in this seminal transformation within the hospitality sector, which will ultimately allow travelers and meeting planners from China and abroad to pay in a more streamlined, seamless and digital way with their mobile device.”
“We are delighted to work with Ant Financial Services Group. Leveraging the cutting-edge technology of Alipay and its significant 80 percent market share in China, Marriott is going beyond just comfort and customization at the property level, to meet the needs of travelers in a way that no other global hotel brand does today. It is a real demonstration of how we aim to deliver more local and innovative services to our customers.”
Sabrina Peng, President of Ant Financial’s international business unit said, “Alipay is the future of payments, and our vision is to better serve our users, even when they are traveling. We approached Marriott International because of its strong brand recognition and growth plan in Asia and around the world, making it an ideal partner for Alipay. We see this relationship as the beginning of a deeper collaboration between the two brands, all with the Chinese consumer in mind.”
Marriott International, Inc. (NASDAQ: MAR) is a global leading lodging company based in Bethesda, Maryland, USA, with more than 4,300 properties in 81 countries and territories. Marriott International reported revenues of nearly $14 billion in fiscal year 2014. The company operates and franchises hotels and licenses vacation ownership resorts under 19 brands, including: The Ritz-Carlton®, BVLGARI®, EDITION®, JW Marriott®, Autograph Collection® Hotels, Renaissance® Hotels, Marriott Hotels®, Delta Hotels and Resorts®, Marriott Executive Apartments®, Marriott Vacation Club®, Gaylord Hotels®, AC Hotels by Marriott®, Courtyard®, Residence Inn®, SpringHill Suites®, Fairfield Inn & Suites®, TownePlace Suites®, Protea Hotels® and Moxy Hotels®. Marriott has been consistently recognized as a top employer and for its superior business ethics. The company also manages the award-winning guest loyalty program, Marriott Rewards® and The Ritz-Carlton Rewards® program, which together surpass 50 million members. For more information or reservations, please visit our website at www.marriott.com, and for the latest company news, visit www.marriottnewscenter.com.
Ant Financial Services Group is focused on serving small and micro enterprises as well as consumers. With the vision “to turn trust into wealth,” Ant Financial is dedicated to building an open ecosystem of Internet thinking and technologies while working with other financial institutions to support the future financial needs of society. Businesses operated by Ant Financial Services Group include Alipay, Ant Fortune, Yu’e Bao, Zhao Cai Bao, Ant Micro Loan, Sesame Credit and MYbank. For more information, please visit our website at www.antgroup.com.
The discount for Marriott Rewards members who book direct does not include group bookings and must be booked by the individual who is staying in the room; The above is a benefit valid for the term of this Agreement and is also good for the contract duration; Marriott Rewards Members will also receive 888 Marriott Rewards points upon first time use of the Alipay service Spotpay.
Chinese International Travel Monitor, 2014
‘Chinese Tourists – Exploring New Frontiers’, CLSA January 2014 .https://www.clsa.com/about-clsa/media-centre/2014-media-ƒreleases/outbound-chinese-tourists-to-double-by-2020-propelling-global-growth-in-travel-related-sectors.php