In a single month, thousands of Chinese travelers visit different points of Africa in search of business opportunities. Ethiopian Airlines, the largest aviation group in Africa and with the most elaborate network in Africa has identified this opportunity and is out to tap the travelers with easy payment methods.
The airline has partnered with CellPoint Mobile, a leading provider of sales and payment-side technology solutions for the worldwide travel sector, to accept payments via Alipay – China’s leading alternative payment method (APM), in the mobile app of Ethiopian Airlines.
This is the first APM integration for CellPoint Mobile as part of an ongoing partnership with the flag carrier of Ethiopia.
“CellPoint Mobile has demonstrated its commitment and knowledge of the Africa region as a member of the African Airlines Association (AFRAA), as well as its global reach as a payment service provider,” said Miretab Teklaye, Director Digital, at Ethiopian Airlines. “The Alipay integration is the first in our PSP partnership in China and an important step in our airline’s growth strategy for the mobile channel”.
Earlier this year, Ethiopian Airlines and CellPoint Mobile announced an ongoing partnership that includes implementation of the Velocity payment platform – a full merchant-side payment control environment built specifically for the travel industry. Velocity’s comprehensive platform enables immediate access to multiple PSPs, acquirers and global consumer wallets and APMs.
With 100 million Chinese traveling abroad every year, more merchants in Southeast Asia, Western Europe, North America – and now Ethiopia – are investing in mobile solutions to support Alipay for Chinese visitors and tourists, as well as foreign expats living in China.
— Ethiopian Airlines (@flyethiopian) September 14, 2018
In nearby Japan, the number of stores accepting Alipay doubled to more than 50,000 last year, as mobile payment transactions in China reached a record $12.8 trillion; in comparison, the U.S. had only $49.3 billion in total mobile payment transactions in 2017.
“By adding support for Alipay, Ethiopian Airlines is strengthening its position not only as the flag carrier of Ethiopia, but as a leading airline for commercial air travel within Africa,” said Ciaran Wilson, Senior Sales & Account Director at CellPoint Mobile. “As part of our ongoing partnership, CellPoint Mobile will continue to support Ethiopian Airlines in its mobile payment strategies and provide more competitive and forward-looking PSP services in an increasingly complex payment environment.”
As an official member of AFRAA, the regional body for African airlines, CellPoint Mobile is committed to the growth of the region’s commercial aviation industry. As a mobile-first PSP, CellPoint Mobile can help carriers like Ethiopian Airlines gradually become more competitive in the mobile channel, reduce transactional friction, increase mobile look-to-book ratios, and boost incremental revenues throughout the entire passenger journey.
Ethiopian Airlines has prioritized the mobile channel and taken incremental steps to enhance customers convenience by partnering with one of today’s most important payment methods for the global traveler – Alipay. CellPoint Mobile can help other airlines in Africa add new payment methods, grow sales and revenue and make travel easier for mobile users.