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Online payment tool helps small Nelson crafter

A small Nelson business can now process Chinese payments from its weekend market stall.

Earlier in the year, knitting business, KnitWitNZ became an Alipay merchant, after signing on to the Christchurch Airport’s Alipay project.

“Chinese visitors don’t often speak English, and they are very attracted to things in Chinese, so having the service helps make them feel welcomed,” says KnitWitNZ owner Petra Fidler.

The service allows Chinese customers to pay in Yuan, and Fidler to be paid in NZD, thanks to a payment gateway system called LATIPAY. It allows currency to be transferred from CNY to NZD and is used in conjunction with the popular online payment provider Alipay.

“It’s easier than making a credit card payment,”

She said the payment system removed the language barrier, which sometimes prevented her from making a sale.

Nelson was a popular destination for Chinese tourists, and with Chinese exchange students living in the town, their parents, who spoke little English, often visited local shops.

“If they have got the Latipay application, they can just scan the product and it translates the currency.”

Fidler launched the service early in July, after hearing about it through a business development meeting.

Fidler has attended the Nelson Saturday market for the last nine years. Her felt products have proven popular with Chinese tourists, particularly a felt aviator hat with attached goggles.

Fidler promoted the online payment tool to other sellers at the market, given its popularity with her customers.

“Nine years ago when I started the business, we had hardly any Chinese visitor numbers and now it’s gone crazy.”