Asia United Bank (AUB), one of the fastest-growing universal banks in the country, recently added the retail and distribution Primer Group of Cos. to its roster of accredited merchants for the mobile-payment facility WeChat Pay.
WeChat Pay is the mobile wallet inside Chinese social-messaging app WeChat, which allows Chinese tourists in the Philippines to conveniently and seamlessly make cross-border payments. Launched in the Philippines in November last year, WeChat Pay is a fast, secure and convenient way to pay for shopping, dining, hotel and airline bookings, and other tourism-related activities of the Chinese, now the second-largest inbound tourists in the country.
Founded in 1985, the Primer Group has diversified and expanded its portfolio from premium-branded consumer goods to air-conditioning, textile printing and manufacturing, digital printing, ecotourism, hospitality management and “green” (environmental)
consultancy. With presence in 13 countries in Asia, Australia, Europe, Middle East and Africa, the Primer Group has over 150 premium brands and around 500 free-standing stores in the world.
On the retail front, the Primer Group carries established brands, such as Columbia, Delsey, Dr. Martens, FitFlop, Fox Racing Herschel Supply Co., Jansport, Quiksilver, Roxy, The North Face, TUMI and Victorinox, as well as the concept stores Bratpack, Flight 001, GRIND, Ladybag, Recreational Outdoor eXchange (R.O.X.), Res|Toe|Run, Sneakpeek and The Travel Club.
“In the dynamic and fiercely competitive retail sector, it’s a must to cast a wider net and allow shoppers to purchase at their utmost convenience or at a mere click of a button,” said Mags Surtida, head of AUB Credit Cards Business. “WeChat Pay is all about that: catering to a steadily thriving tourist base with an innovative, flexible way to pay.”
The Chinese tourism market in the Philippines has enjoyed a tremendous growth of more than 30 percent in recent years, trailing Koreans in the number of visits to the country. In 2017 Chinese tourist arrivals reached almost 1 million.
The Chinese tourist segment is the largest user base of WeChat, which has 963 million active monthly users as of its most recently reported quarter. Developed in its home market of China by developer Tencent, WeChat has gone beyond popular voice- and text-messaging features to include games and mobile payment.
“We are pleased to partner with AUB as this alliance paves the way for us to deliver superior customer experience through convenient, seamless and secure mode of payment. By taking advantage of opportunities offered by new payment gateways, we are better poised to strengthen our position as one of the leading authorities in the retail industry, given our deep basket of travel and outdoor gear brands composed of both heavyweight and up-and-coming labels,” said Jimmy Thai, president and CEO at Primer Group of Cos. said.