At ceremony, Ant Financial signs deal with the government of Monaco
In a ceremony attended by airline, casino, and luxury hotel CEOs of Monaco, Ant Financial, which operates Alipay, signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the government of Monaco to enable more merchants in the European principality to use Alipay’s mobile payment system.
The Prime Minister of the Principality of Monaco, Serge Telle, said at the signing of the agreement, “The future is becoming cashless, and China is increasingly leading the market in mobile payment innovations. It is exciting that these frictionless payment methods are available to our Chinese visitors for the first time and we look forward to seeing this partnership come to fruition.”
The move marks effort to give Chinese tourists more payment options
The move is an effort to expand the payment options of Chinese tourists in Monaco while enjoying the microstate’s numerous luxury hotels, resorts, spas, and restaurants. Many merchants had already accepted payments through Alipay prior to the signing of the MoU.
These merchants include many hotels and resorts, like Hotel Hermitage Monte-Carlo and Hôtel de Paris Monte-Carlo. Three spas also previously accepted Alipay payments and numerous bars, shops, and restaurants. More niche luxury services also previously accepted Alipay, like the principality’s premier VIP helicopter airline, Monacair. The Monaco Yacht Club also plans to accept Alipay in the coming months.
Douglas Feagin, the President of International Business for Ant Financial said the move was part of their globalization strategy. “We are focused on working with local partners,” he said at the ceremony, “to bring a seamless Alipay mobile payment experience to Chinese tourists, no matter where they go.”
No doubt the overwhelming number of Chinese tourists traveling to the tiny Mediterranean city-state are high-net worth individuals coming to enjoy the luxury lifestyle of a country known to have the highest per-capita number of millionaires in Europe. Perhaps the city’s most famous attractions are its high-roller casinos, like the Monte Carlo Casino. The Société des bains de mer de Monaco, which owns the Monte Carlo, was in attendance of the MoU signing ceremony.
The Monte Carlo shops, restaurants, and bars have already been accepting Alipay payments.