Chinese guests now pay by smartphone and Alipay app at the hotel Crowne Plaza Berlin City Centre

The hotel Crowne Plaza Berlin City Centre has a new service for travellers from Asia.

Eschborn, 05 December 2016.  The hotel Crowne Plaza Berlin City Centre has a new service for travellers from Asia: Chinese hotel guests can now simply pay by smartphone and Alipay – the most popular mobile payment solution and lifestyle app in China operated by Ant Financial Services Group. The number of visitors from the Far East has been increasing at the Crowne Plaza Berlin City Centre for two years. Now the four-star plus hotel offers this growing customer group a familiar and convenient payment method. Alipay has more than 450 million active users in China.

"Meeting the needs of our customers and fulfilling their expectations of modern hospitality and dining is our top priority. We make their stay as pleasant as possible, from check-in to settling the bill. We want our guests to feel at home with us. With Alipay we can offer Chinese travellers the payment service they are used to", says Gregor Linhart, Director Business Development of Albeck & Zehden Hotels.

An average of 8,000 Chinese tourists a year stay at the Crowne Plaza. The hotel is attuned to its Far Eastern guests and offers a traditional hot breakfast, three Chinese TV programmes, Chinese-speaking staff and information about the hotel and Berlin in Mandarin. The Chinese credit card Union Pay is already accepted for payments at reception.

Marcus W. Mosen, CEO of Concardis, "As payment service providers we help hoteliers and restaurant managers in Germany to upgrade their terminals for Alipay without any additional investment. We take care of implementing the necessary software and ensure the payment processes run smoothly." A software update for the terminal is all that is required. From then on a smartphone is used to pay: The hotel terminal displays a QR code, which the guest simply scans with the Alipay app.

Rita Liu, Head of Europe, Middle East and Africa at Alipay, "The partnership with Crowne Plaza is another key step in our expansion to the German market. In a six-week pilot phase we will be offering Alipay in the individual boutiques of selected well-known brands. After that we will roll the offering out across the market."

The Crowne Plaza Berlin City Centre joins the jewellers Wempe, TOD's and Timberland as the fourth pilot customer of Concardis to integrate Alipay into its payment portfolio. Concardis has been cooperating with Alipay since June this year and will successively activate this payment method for its entire customer portfolio. It makes particular sense for hoteliers: according to the German National Tourist Board, overnight stays by Chinese guests went up by more than two and a half times between 2004 and 2014, reaching over two million in 2014. And the trend is set to continue. The Financial Times calculates that Chinese tourists spend an average of USD 5,200, or around EUR 4,650, during their stay.

 

About Alipay
Launched in 2004, Alipay, operated by Ant Financial Services Group, is the world’s largest third-party payment platform. Alipay currently has over 450 million active users and has evolved from a digital wallet to a lifestyle enabler. Users can hail a taxi, book a hotel, buy movie tickets, pay utility bills, make appointments with doctors, or purchase wealth management products directly from within the app. In addition to online payments, Alipay is expanding to in-store offline payments both inside and outside of China. Over 2 million brick-and-mortar merchants now accept Alipay across China. As of June 2016, excluding Chinese Mainland, Alipay was supported in 70 countries and regions, with in-store payments covering more than 80,000 retail stores, and tax reimbursement via Alipay is supported in 24 countries. Alipay works with over 200 overseas financial institutions and payment solution providers to enable cross-border payments for Chinese travelling overseas and overseas customers who purchase products from Chinese e-commerce sites. Alipay currently supports 18 currencies.

 

About Plaza Berlin City Centre
The First Class Superior hotel is part of the Albeck & Zehden Group and located in the heart of Berlin, just a few steps away from the Kurfuerstendamm boulevard and the famous KaDeWe department store. The 423 rooms as well as the bathrooms are completely redecorated and refurbished, providing free internet/WiFi. In addition a premium internet up to 1000 MBit -Berlin’s fastest hotel internet- is on offer.
13 conference rooms are available for comprehensive meeting and event facilities up to 1000 persons. The wellness area with indoor pool, sauna, an air-conditioned fitness section and varied massage offers are suited to accommodate guests needing to relax.

Unique in the gastronomic scene of Berlin is Wilson’s – The Prime Rib Restaurant. Here the Original US Prime Rib, the premium beef of best quality, is served as traditionally enjoyed and loved in America.

Christian Drixler

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