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Please note if you are a Smartpay customer and wish to join the South Alipay Programme, simply complete the form at the bottom of this page. We will be in touch with you within one working day.


Alipay is a global lifestyle super app that can help New Zealand businesses reach the record numbers of Chinese visitors coming to our shores.

By becoming an Alipay merchant, kiwi businesses can access the app’s 600 million active users and do business with them at the click of a button.

Christchurch Airport is leading a new project that makes it easy to become an Alipay merchant. Hundreds of businesses have already done so and are reaping the results.

“It has been easy for us to get set up.”

Jake Downing, Weta Workshops

What is alipay?

It’s a Chinese super app, unlike anything kiwis use in New Zealand.

Alipay is the world’s largest payment platform and has 600 million active users.

Its users pay for things (from street food to luxury items) using Alipay instead of cash or credit cards (in fact, only 15% of Chinese adults have credit cards).

But most importantly, they can also search for and discover new businesses.

That makes Alipay an effective marketing tool for kiwi businesses. Alipay users planning a trip to New Zealand can search the app for things to do or places to stay when they get there.

What’s more businesses can offer coupons or specials and communicate with past customers, even once they are back home in China.

Why should kiwi businesses become Alipay merchants?

Quite simply because those who don’t, are missing out.

China is now New Zealand’s second largest visitor market with around 400,000 visitors every year spending over $1.2 billion.

60% of these visitors are free, independent travellers who research and book their own holiday.

 Alipay’s Discover platform puts you in front of these travellers – even before they’ve left China.

China is fast becoming a cashless society. They prefer using Alipay.

What’s more they like to use Alipay when they go on holiday too - it’s simple, they trust it.

Every Alipay user will open the app four times a day (on average) while they are in New Zealand. So they are more likely to find and spend with a business on Alipay than one who is not.

What is the Alipay discover platform?

The Discover platform is an area within the Alipay app which travellers use to discover nearby shops and attractions.

Through the South Programme, your business will get its very own listing on the Discover platform which the Christchurch Airport will maintain for you.

This listing can display video content, photos, a description of your key products and what your business can offer, your business location and contact information.

Any coupons or promotions that you choose to run will also appear here.

This listing unlocks the opportunity to position your business in front of the these 600 million users.

By simply becoming an Alipay merchant, your business will also be included in the many seasonal campaigns that Alipay runs. For example, Alipay is currently funding a yearlong instant cashback promotion for all Alipay merchants.

This is fantastic extra exposure to the Chinese traveller market that you wouldn't otherwise gain - all for free.

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What does it cost to become an Alipay merchant?

There are no sign up costs and no fixed term contracts.

All merchants pay is a low fee on sales. Many new Alipay merchants are surprised to learn that Alipay's fees are lower than what they pay to accept credit cards.

What’s more, Christchurch Airport takes care of all your marketing content set-up (including translation of content into Chinese) and promotion management for free.

“It was a no brainer, we had to be on Alipay – it’s cheaper for us than credit cards.”

Mark Orbell, Ridgeline Adventures

Is it difficult for our staff to adopt?

Not at all. There are many different payment solutions ranging from a static QR code at point-of-sale, to a fully integrated eftpos terminal. All of which are easy to familiarize your staff with - especially because the Alipay users are already so aware of this method of payment.

The Christchurch Airport will put you in contact with the most appropriate payment solution provider that will suit your business's needs.

Why is Christchurch Airport leading this project?

This is the inaugural project under a world first partnership that Christchurch Airport signed with Alipay’s parent company Alibaba (the world’s largest e-commerce retail company).

All of the partnership’s projects are designed to grow the South Island economy and improve the experience that Chinese visitors enjoy when they come to New Zealand.

Becoming an Alipay merchant is simply a stepping stone into a larger opportunity for growing your business within the Chinese FIT market. There will be opportunities for kiwi businesses to join other Alibaba platforms, including Fliggy and T-Mall Global.


Is Alibaba's online travel platform that has 10 million daily visitors. This has the potential to connect your tourism business to millions of Chinese FIT's.

T-Mall Global

Is Alibaba's online shopping mall that lets kiwi businesses sell their products directly to Chinese consumers - turbocharging micro-exporting.

The Alibaba partnership demonstrates how Christchurch Airport embraces innovation and champions the South Island every chance it gets.

To sign up, please fill out the agreement below and send it back to alipayinfo@cial.co.nz  and we will be in touch within one working day.

Sign up now