As the world is emerging from the Covid-19 pandemic, global travel is picking up again. A survey of travel sentiment, carried out last month by the South China Morning Post and payment solution Alipay+, highlights just how useful such an innovative offering can be.
Nearly a quarter of the people questioned for the poll said they plan to take more than five overseas trips this year. Almost half of them expect to spend more than US$1,000 on retail, dining and entertainment on each overseas trip. Over a quarter said they want to keep using their existing electronic wallets for transactions while abroad because of brand trust.
People have wanted the ability to use their existing e-wallets while travelling overseas for a long time, but the effects of the coronavirus disease on our daily lives heightened that demand.
The Covid-19 pandemic has helped spark financial inclusion worldwide after forcing many industries to adapt and build digital products suited to a dramatically new way of life – one burdened by the challenges of physical isolation.
Lockdowns and social distancing saw cinemagoers, for example, opt for film streaming services, offices were closed while staff stayed connected from home via video conferences, and bricks-and mortar stores switched to selling their goods online.
Once business activity had moved online, financial services rapidly followed. Interest in financial technology (fintech) – the use of digital technologies to provide financial services – spiked after the onset of the pandemic, according to an October 2022 report, “Economic Resilience During the Covid-19 Pandemic”.
The report was published by the Centre for Sustainable Finance Innovation at Nanyang Technological University’s Nanyang Business School, in Singapore in collaboration with Ant Group. Owner of digital payment solution provider Alipay, Ant Group is an affiliate company of Alibaba Group Holding, the Chinese conglomerate which owns the South China Morning Post.
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