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Alipay: Malaysia ranks 7th in the world's fastest growing e-wallet destinations

Malaysia is featured in the top 10 cashless airports and Chinatowns in the world, according to Alipay.

Cashless is becoming a buzzword nowadays even though the credit card was "invented" back in 1950, during when a New York businessman Frank McNamara started Diners Club.

However, cashless seems to be a word "owned" by e-wallet now, overshadowing credit or debit card. In short, e-wallet is a mobile app installed on your smartphone with a virtual balance to pay the merchants.

When you are paying at point-of-sale nowadays, it is hard to miss the "pay with brand x e-wallet" POSM, sometimes a couple of them within the same cash register!

One of the prominent ones, Alipay (支付宝) is spotted frequently at the airport and tourist spots. While there is equal to almost zero Malaysians using Alipay here, it is meant for tourists from China.


There were 200,000 Chinese nationals spending their holidays in Malaysia during the past Chinese New Year, and over 90% of Chinese tourists would use mobile payment overseas given the option.

Imagine each of the Chinese tourists spends just RM100 on average via e-wallet like Alipay, it sums up to RM18 million over the festive season!

There was another big holiday season recently in China - 十一黄金周 (Golden Week) from 1 to 7 October 2018, during a period when a massive number of Chinese citizens spending their holidays either domestic or overseas.

Prior to the Golden Week, Alipay has released a list of popular destinations by 4 categories:

  • Top 10 cashless airports in the world
  • Top 10 cashless shopping districts in the world
  • Top 10 cashless Chinatowns in the world
  • Top 10 cashless shopping outlets in the world

While it is unclear the measurement behind but this could be based on Alipay's past historical data, serving as a guideline for outbound Chinese tourists.

Guess what? There are 2 locations in Malaysia featured in the charts so read on!

Top 10 cashless (e-wallet) airports in the world


Top 10 cashless airports in the world

  1. Hong Kong International Airport
  2. Haneda Airport (Tokyo) 
  3. Narita International Airport (Tokyo)
  4. Seoul Incheon Airport
  5. Singapore Changi Airport
  6. Suvarnabhumi Airport (Bangkok)
  7. Don Mueang International Airport (Bangkok)
  8. Kuala Lumpur International Airport
  9. Melbourne Airport
  10. Sydney Airport

 Top 10 cashless (e-wallet) Chinatowns in the world


Top 10 cashless Chinatowns in the world

  1. Melbourne, Australia
  2. Sydney, Australia
  3. London, United Kingdom
  4. Toronto, Canada
  5. Chinatown, Singapore
  6. Yaowarat Road, Bangkok
  7. Jalan Alor, Kuala Lumpur
  8. Flushing, Queens, New York
  9. Chicago, United States
  10. San Francisco, United States

While KLIA is kinda expected but Jalan Alor came as a surprise by not just making its entry in the top 10 list, but also being categorized as a Chinatown.

You can read here (in Chinese) on the other two top 10 lists for shopping districts and outlets.

Watch this video on our cashless experience using e-wallet in China

Top 10 fastest growing e-wallet spots in the world


Right after the Golden Week, Alipay has released another updated insights on the top 10 destinations, this time on the fastest growing spots with Alipay transactions.


  1. Bicester Village, United Kingdom
  2. Dōtonbori, Japan
  3. Sydney Airport, Australia
  4. Boulevard Haussmann, France
  5. Suvarnabhumi Airport, Thailand
  6. Toronto Chinatown, Canada
  7. Kuala Lumpur International Airport, Malaysia
  8. The Mall Luxury Outlet, France
  9. Flushing at New York, United States
  10. Myeong-dong at Seoul, South Korea

The e-wallet transactions volume is growing super fast at the top 3 locations above, ranging from 55 to 90 times growth rate! Besides Suvarnabhumi Airport in Bangkok, KLIA is the only other destination in Southeast Asia featured in this high-growth chart.

It is still debatable whether we are growing so fast domestically towards a cashless society, but at least for now, accepting payment via Alipay (or WeChat Pay) is a must if you are fronting customers from China.

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ecInsider: Alipay: Malaysia ranks 7th in the world's fastest growing e-wallet destinations
Alipay: Malaysia ranks 7th in the world's fastest growing e-wallet destinations
Malaysia is featured in the top 10 cashless airports and Chinatowns in the world, according to Alipay.
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