April 10th, 2019

Lagardère Travel Retail in Iceland and Central Pay in collaboration on payment services to Chinese tourists

Reykjavik, April 10, 2019 - Lagardère Travel Retail in Iceland, which operates restaurants and cafés at the Leifur Eiríksson Air Terminal in Iceland, and Central Pay, which offers simple ways to receive payments from AliPay and WeChat Pay, have agreed on the use of Alipay and WeChat Pay payment and marketing solutions in Lagardère Travel Retail's restaurants and coffee shops. Thus, Lagardère Travel Retail in Iceland can meet a rapidly expanding group of Chinese tourists arriving in Iceland with a stop at the Leifur Eiríksson Air Terminal. 

WeChat Pay are mobile payments built into the WeChat social media community, one of the most popular social media sites in the world with over a billion users. Alipay, a leader in its field, is a mobile payment service, used by over 700 million people in China. Payments through these media account for 94% of all mobile payments in China. The number of Chinese tourists to Iceland has increased steadily, but last year they were about 90 thousand and this year they are expected to be around 110 thousand. In spite of the decrease in the number of tourists to the country in general, the percentage of Chinese tourists increased by 16.4% in the first two months of the year, which is an increase from the same period last year. 

"A growing number of tourists visit us from China, where cash and credit cards are not the main method of payment, but contactless payments like with mobile phones," said Sigurður Skagfjörð Sigurdsson, Managing Director at Lagardère Travel Retail in Iceland. "With WeChat and Alipay, Chinese users can fulfill their basic daily needs such as paying bills or paying for various products and services. It is therefore very important for us to be able to offer commercial practices they know to ensure fast and smooth transaction. Airports are often the first touch point for tourists entering our country and it is important to be able to demonstrate right there and then that we can meet their needs, no matter where they come from.“ 

“We offer simple and tailor-made solutions for Icelandic companies to connect to Chinese markets and tourists. AliPay and WeChat Pay are the most popular payment services among Chinese people and therefore it creates trust if they have access to the payment processes they know, ”said Stefán Thor Stefánsson, Managing Director of Central Pay. "These payment services provide Lagardère Travel Retail with an opportunity to promote services and sales to Chinese tourists, both with well-known payment options and customised marketing."