Have You Used Innovative Payment Methods At Hotels (Apple Pay, Alipay etc) ?

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As I’m traveling in China this week I was surprised that more and more hotels and businesses offer the use of innovative payment options such as Apple Pay and the Chinese version AliPay.

Hotel PaymentsWhile checking in at the Hilton Beijing I noticed they now accept Apple Pay as well.

The Chinese market is very innovative when it comes to the support of mobile based technologies. You can pay with AliPay, Apple Pay etc at various stores incl McDonalds and e-cupons that are scanned off the mobile device are very common as well.

Seeing these payment methods at hotels during this trip was new to me as they weren’t displayed before when I visited Beijing and Shanghai last time in April.

While I can see the point for smaller purchases where using mobile payments can be very convenient I can’t make out the advantages for payments at hotels. Are people really filling up their e-wallets with large balances?


I guess time will tell how successful and universally accepted this way of payment is going to be but for now it looks very wide spread already especially in Asia. China is a huge market for these technologies to make a breakthrough especially since most people still don’t carry a credit card but instead use alternative options which are naturally cash or debit card.

Are you using Apple pay and would you settle your hotel bill with it?

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  • AlexanderLN

    In Denmark we have a similar service “MobilePay” that is accepted at most supermarkets, thrift shops etc. and some hotels accept it + you can use it to authorize online credit card purchases.
    I use it every day though would probably give the physical credit card for a big transaction (or deposit) at a hotel.

  • D

    There are a couple of things you don’t seem to know yet:

    1) AliPay is not a “Chinese version of Apple Pay”. AliPay came way before Apple Pay. It uses a very different and in my opinion MUCH BETTER mechanism, which is barcode scanning and not NFC (which drains your battery). And not to mention AliPay is much more advanced and is itself a whole ecosystem that does much more than just payment.

    2) You don’t need to load your eWallet with money beforehand. The eWallet is linked to your credit/debit card and draws money directly from the bank on the fly during transaction time.

  • Gaijinsan

    I find it interesting, I wonder if these payment platforms would cut down on credit card fraud. I know a common complaint here on Loyalty Lobby that I’ve also experienced is hotels carelessly treating credit card copies, etc. With something like AliPay or ApplePay drawing directly from my credit card to pay a hotel, there’s no copy for them to make or leave laying around on a desk. I’d assume in the case of point reward cards, I’d still get the reward points like I do with PayPal now, perhaps though forgoing chain specific bonus points for using that card at the hotel (Hilton Hhonors credit card for example).