UATP member airlines soon will be able to accept payments made via ubiquitous Chinese mobile payment services Alipay, WeChat Pay and China UnionPay over UATP’s own payment rails.
The airline payment network has signed Citcon as a partner in its alternate form of payment processing business. Based in Silicon Valley, Citcon specializes in providing merchant acquiring and other services related to the North American and European acceptance of the popular China-based mobile wallet payment systems, which collectively are used by more than 1 billion Chinese consumers.
Under the alliance, Alipay, WeChat Pay and China UnionPay transactions will run over the UATP network, so customers will see those mobile payment brands on the airline’s merchant website and mobile app.
“The end customer will not notice the difference on the front end; they just see the payment brands they want to use, and UATP makes it easier for merchants to offer these brands to their customers,” said UATP president and CEO Ralph Kaiser.
Leveraging the air carrier network’s existing payment infrastructure “enables speed-to-market, as UATP is connected to the world’s airlines already and so the lift on IT needs is minimized,” Kaiser added.
Acceptance of Alipay, WeChat Pay and UnionPay has become paramount for airlines and other travel providers seeking to unlock the massive potential of the Chinese market, where those services occupy the center of most consumers’ personal and corporate payment lives. Earlier this year, CWT overhauled its MyCWT booking tool in China with an emphasis on supporting payments made via those mobile services.
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