China’s tech giant, Tencent, is set to take an innovative leap in international finance, with plans to enable WeChat Pay to process payments made with international debit and credit cards like Visa from mid-July. This move is anticipated to augment mobile payment experiences for overseas visitors in China.
Tencent Financial Technology’s Vice President, Royal Chen, disclosed the company’s innovative approach during the World Economic Forum’s Annual Meeting of the New Champions in Tianjin on 28 June. Chen linked Tencent’s initiative to facilitate payment services for global tourists with the complete reinstatement of travel and tourism to China, coupled with major international events planned in the country this year.
“We are diligently striving to enhance access to China’s online and offline merchants for overseas visitors, with the endorsement of relevant regulatory bodies and policies,” Chen stated.
By linking an overseas debit or credit card to WeChat, visitors will enjoy broad access to various merchants and services. These include shopping, dining, hotel accommodations, and transportation, providing a comprehensive coverage of all aspects of life in China, both online and offline.
In a parallel development in 2019, WeChat Pay’s domestic version, Weixin Pay, commenced support for international users to link their credit cards with several pilot online services. These services include Didi’s ride-hailing service, JD.com’s eCommerce platform, Ctrip’s travel booking app, and 12306, the official train ticket booking site operated by China Railway.
Since 2021, Weixin users have been able to receive wages or family support remitted from major global institutions, such as Wise and Remitly. Remittances are forwarded to Weixin with a single click, and the recipients get the money via Weixin messages, simplifying cross-border remittance to the ease of sending a text.
Moving forward, Weixin’s ecosystem is projected to open up further to international payment and financial partners, fostering a diversified, inclusive global payment network. This development will leverage the ecological connection of payment networks from various global regions to enhance cross-border services. Chen unveiled an inventive concept, the “1+1+1” model, aimed at constructing an open global payment network.
Simultaneously, Chinese fintech companies are pioneering solutions to make cross-border remittances as effortless as sending messages, while maintaining transaction security and regulatory compliance. In 2016, WeChat Pay HK launched We Remit, a cross-border remittance service that lets domestic helpers from the Philippines and Indonesia send money back to their families. “Recipients can access the money in minutes and even cash out at local pawnshops. This innovative solution connects networks via technology, reducing the digital divide without altering user habits in different regions,” Chen concluded.
This news is based on reports from Marketing Interactive.