Mulia Hotel became the first lodging business to install Alipay to its counters, which may help the premise to further capitalise on the increasing numbers of Chinese tourists coming to Brunei.
Director of Operations Mohd Iswandi Maaruf who is also Brunei Association of Hotels’ (BAH’s) President said the decision to station Alipay facilities in his hotel was due to the feedbacks he received from his Chinese customers.
“Most of the visitors staying at our hotel last year repeatedly asked whether we accept Alipay payments or not. Initially we had no idea what Alipay is but after doing some research, we got to know that it was actually an e-wallet service widely used by people in China,” he said.
Alipay is an e-wallet service that allows users to purchase goods and services just a click away from their smartphones. Alternatively, they can use the app to scan QR codes and make purchases whenever necessary.
It is currently the most used app by people living in China, the second being WeChat Pay, Mohd Iswandi said.
“Understanding such trend, we think it is also right for us to install the payment facility since we continued to receive record-breaking numbers of visitors from China,” he said.
Mohd Iswandi shared that from January to July this year, Mulia Hotel has recorded close to 15,000 visitors from China – already breaking its 2018 record where it only received 8,000 Chinese visitors throughout the year.
Speaking in his capacity as BAH President, Mohd Iswandi said he plans to extend Alipay payment facilities to other lodging businesses including Higher Hotel, Wafa Hotel and Apartments as well as The Empire Hotel and Country Club to better capture the market that was driven by Chinese visitors.
BAH, he said, is currently in talks with the Brunei Tourism Board to see how Alipay can be better marketed among related businesses.
Brunei’s Alipay payment amenities is facilitated by local fintech startup BEEP Digital Solutions. Close to 50 businesses in Brunei have installed Alipay to date.
The Bruneian | BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN