Those traveling to South Korea will have another payment option to use on their trip aside from cash and credit cards. Ant Group, Alibaba’s Chinese financial affiliate, recently announced that they’re helping four Asian e-wallets to expand into South Korea. Here’s what you need to know.
You can now use GCash in South Korea
It’s official: over 120,000 merchants in South Korea can now accept various popular mobile payment methods powered by Alipay+, including GCash, Touch ‘n Go eWallet, AlipayHK, TrueMoney and Alipay. Are you a user of one of these mobile wallets?
— Alipay+ (@AlipayPlus) September 26, 2022
Ant Group said on Monday that they’ve started to process cross-border payment services in South Korea through four Asian e-wallets: the Philippines’ GCash, Malaysia’s Touch’n Go, Hong Kong’s Alipay HK, and Thailand’s TrueMoney. These e-wallets all use Alipay+, a platform that lets local mobile payment apps make international payments.
Tourists can use their local e-wallets to pay at over 120,000 merchants across South Korea. According to Ant Group, this includes taxi services, restaurants, the GS25 convenience store chain, and Lotte Duty Free shops. So if you’re out for a food trip in Myeongdong or some good ol’ shopping in Gangnam, you can look for GCash logos in stores and pay with the same app you use at home.
“With South Korea being one of the most popular destinations for Filipinos, we are delighted that our customers will be able to maximize their GCash app during their travels. This collaboration with Alipay+ provides our users the convenience they need to easily transact and manage their expenses with GCash,” said Martha Sazon, President and CEO Mynt, which operates GCash.
South Korea ends pre-departure COVID test
Officials expect South Korea’s tourism to boom in the coming months thanks to the downward trend of the virus. From September 3, 2022, they will no longer require inbound travelers to present a negative COVID test. However, travelers have to take an on-arrival PCR test within 24 hours and upload their results on the country’s Q-code website.
South Korea has been logging a weekly average of 29,566 COVID cases in September.
You can read more about South Korea’s travel requirements, quarantine rules, and restrictions here.