Princess facilitates Alipay and WeChat Pay on ship in North America

In what may be a first aboard a cruise ship in North America, Chinese travelers can now use Alipay and WeChat Pay payment options while shopping in the boutiques aboard Ruby Princess.

Most popular forms of digital payment

Alipay and WeChat Pay are China’s two most popular forms of digital payment. Alipay is the most popular digital wallet service and lifestyle platform and is expanding to in-store, offline payments both inside and outside of China. Alipay’s in-store payment service covers over 40 countries and regions across the world. Currently, more than 900m people use the system for digital transactions globally.

WeChat Pay is another widely used digital wallet service and mobile payment app in China. It has 800m monthly active users worldwide and total volume a year in 2017 was about $6.5 trillion.

Ruby Princess is currently sailing to the Mexican Riviera from Los Angeles and will operate in Alaska next summer, mainly on round-trip cruises from Seattle.

Home-away-from-home comforts

Princess Cruises said it is committed to making international travel more seamless for its Chinese passengers by offering home-away-from-home comforts on select ships including Chinese language menus, Chinese culinary dishes, Chinese hosts and Chinese-language shore excursions.

'We have heard from our guests that incorporating Chinese mobile payment services provides a more convenient way to travel,' Princess chief marketing officer Gordon Ho said. 'As we continue to attract more Chinese outbound travelers to fly overseas and cruise with us, this is another example of our ability to tailor our offerings to the preferences of Chinese travelers.'

Princess cruisers first used Alipay and WeChat Pay in the shops aboard Majestic Princess, tailored to the Chinese market in 2017 during its summer deployment from Shanghai.

Posted 19 December 2018

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Anne Kalosh

Editor, Seatrade Cruise News & Senior Associate Editor Seatrade Cruise Review