Millions of Chinese tourists are driving mobile payment adoption

Tourism is the tide that lifts all boats by modernizing and globalizing everything from hotels to ATMs. Now it's changing the way we pay.

According to a CNBC report, an influx of millions of Chinese tourists is forcing retailers to begin using mobile payment solutions like Alipay and WeChat Pay, a move that could encourage many more countries to abandon older payment methods like cash and cards. This normalization of outside payment providers could bode well for companies working to offer crypto-based or other alternative payment systems.

In a study released by Nielsen, mobile payment adoption is growing in places where Chinese tourists tend to visit. Even the US is ahead of the game with 61% of Chinese tourists saying they paid with mobile apps while on vacation.

China has leapfrogged over credit cards thanks to the popularity of chat apps in the country. These apps, which have associated payment systems, make it easy to send cash in country and now over borders. Nielsen isn't the only organization seeing this change. According to mobile payments provider Citcon over 90% of Chinese tourists would prefer mobile payments overseas and now their preferences are changing the way small businesses take payments.

According to the report, seventy-five percent of grocery stories in Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand now accept Chinese mobile payments. Seventy-one percent of duty free shops in these countries also support these solutions, a sign that others may soon follow suit.