Gamblers visiting Manila’s Solaire Resort and Casino now will now have more flexibility for making instant payments for purchases of virtually any kind at the casino. The Manila Bulletin first reported that, through a partnership with Asia United Bank (AUB), Solaire now accepts the Chinese payment services AliPay and WeChat Pay, which will allow visitors to use the services for entertainment, lodging, food and any other spending activities.
The two payment platforms can be tied to the AUB PayMate application available for mobile phones. The app gives merchants the ability to accept both Alipay and WeChat Pay as payment methods for a variety of goods and services.
According to Rajesh Jhingon, Solaire’s senior VP for resort operations, “The strategic partnership with AUB is consistent with our mission to deliver better service by offering our Chinese guests a safe and efficient online, cross-border platform for their payments.”
The timing of the deal falls in line with an increase in Chinese tourists visiting the Philippines. It is predicted that as many as 1.5 million Chinese will visit the country by the end of this year.
AUB President Manual Gomez said, “We are excited to partner with Solaire Resort, as they [the operator] are poised to benefit from the astounding growth in Chinese tourist arrivals, well above the curve of tourism growth in the region as well as around the world. This comes with untapped opportunities for businesses, big or small, to cater to this specific market with a safe, new payment channel that provides both speed and convenience.”
Instant payments have become popular in areas frequently visited by Chinese visitors. Macau saw a number of restaurants and retail outlets on its Fisherman’s Wharf start to accept cashless payments through AliPay and MacauPay last year. While the offerings are available for purchases at a larger number of the Fisherman’s Wharf venues, they’re still not authorized for any casino or gaming purchases.
The Solaire is the first casino resort to see its door open in Entertainment City, the government support economic development zone. In addition to the casino, it offers 800 hotel rooms, as well as villas, restaurants, shops, a theater, meeting facility and several bars. It was developed and is operated by Bloomberry Resorts Corp.