Integrated payments and marketing platform RiverPay Inc. today announced it is facilitating payments through two of the most popular mobile payment systems favored by Chinese consumers, Alipay and WeChat Pay, at Harrods’ flagship Knightsbridge store in London, as the payments technology provider for the iconic retailer. This move expands RiverPay’s solid footprint in the European market focusing on the high-end retail sector. RiverPay’s efficient and secure in-store payments system supporting Alipay and WeChat Pay was quickly integrated with Harrod’s existing payments infrastructure and is expected to further boost the store’s ability to capture the growing and lucrative Chinese outbound tourism market.
In addition to the 393,000 Chinese residents and 95,000 Chinese students in the UK, Chinese outbound travellers represent an increasingly important customer segment for UK retailers. VisitBritain is expecting 483,000 arrivals from China in 2019, with Chinese visitors expected to spend more than £1 billion this year. Harrods earlier cited research showing that one in every £5 spent by Chinese visitors to London is spent at Harrods. Chinese consumers’ spending, mainly on high-end fashion items and accessories, accounted for more than 10 percent of the total annual revenues of the department store.
The payment habits of Chinese consumers have evolved drastically over recent years, with a definitive preference towards mobile payment and cashless transactions. In 2018, more than two-thirds (69 percent) of Chinese travellers paid with their mobile phones while abroad, while 94 percent of Chinese travellers surveyed by Nielsen said they would be more willing to pay with their mobile phones if this payment method becomes more widely adopted by local merchants in overseas markets. 93 percent of them would likely increase their spending if mobile payments option is available, according to Nielsen.
“Harrods is much more than a department store; it’s a destination unto itself for Chinese consumers. The Harrods brand is highly-desirable and synonymous with premium, luxury and excellence,” said Ryan Zheng, co-founder and CEO of RiverPay. “We are pleased to help enable even more convenience for Harrods Chinese clientele though RiverPay’s fast, secure and widely-compatible payments technologies. By expediting the connection to the top two mobile payment platforms from China, we are playing the role in enhancing the overall experience of Chinese consumers when shopping at the most sought-after shopping destination on the globe.”
RiverPay’s speedy integration of payment technology into the luxury store’s current cashier system without interruption results in no downtime in setting up payment options. Payments through Alipay and WeChat Pay QR codes can be settled in British pounds within a short time.
Located in the heart of one of London’s most affluent neighborhoods, Knightsbridge, Harrods is the biggest and most iconic department store in Europe. With seven floors, 90,000 square meters and 330 different departments, the storied luxurious department store attracts some 15 million customer per year. Harrods initially introduced Alipay digital payments system late in 2016 and started adding WeChat Pay to its payments option portfolio during the 2018 Chinese Lunar New Year.
About RiverPay (www.riverpayment.com)
RiverPay is an integrated payments and marketing platform to connect Chinese consumers with overseas merchants. As an authorized payment service provider of Alipay and WeChat Pay, RiverPay offers technology solutions and settlement services to allow Chinese consumers to pay in CNY and merchants to receive USD, CAD, GBP, EUR and more. RiverPay currently serves over 12,000 merchants across North America and Europe, including Saks Fifth Avenue, Hudson’s Bay, Selfridges, Holt Renfrew, Harry Rosen, Holland & Barrett, Prada, Dolce&Gabbana, Tiffany & Co., De Beers and Max Mara.