WeChat Pay and Alipay, China’s leading mobile payment platforms, have expanded their services to accept international credit cards, easing transactions for international visitors and tourists. As mobile payments gain popularity, cash and credit card transactions have decreased in China, making it essential for these platforms to embrace international credit cards to cater to the growing number of foreign tourists.
24 July 2023 – In a significant move aimed at enhancing the shopping and dining experience for international visitors, China’s top mobile payment platforms, WeChat Pay and Alipay, have begun accepting international credit cards. As mobile payments gain immense popularity, traditional credit card and cash transactions have witnessed a decline in the country. The integration of international credit cards into these payment platforms seeks to simplify transactions for tourists while encouraging greater usage of smartphone-based payment services.
As of Friday, WeChat Pay has expanded its support to include credit cards issued by Visa and Mastercard, along with Japan’s credit card company, JCB, and others, for payments of up to 6,000 yuan ($835). For transactions exceeding 200 yuan, a 3% fee applies, with an annual payment cap set at 60,000 yuan.
Similarly, Alipay now accepts Visa, Mastercard, Diners Club, and Discover cards, levying the same 3% fee.
The surge in mobile payment adoption in China has led to a decline in credit card and cash transactions, creating challenges for foreign visitors and tourists. While merchants are required to accept cash payments, many establishments do not offer change, making cash transactions inconvenient. Additionally, finding shops that accept international credit cards has posed difficulties.
Previously, WeChat Pay required locally issued credit cards for use, while Alipay users with international credit cards had to enroll in a program that charged a 5% fee.
The move to integrate international credit cards into these leading mobile payment platforms aims to streamline payment processes for international visitors and tourists, making their shopping and dining experiences in China more seamless and enjoyable.
With the increasing preference for mobile payments, this latest development is set to revolutionize the payment landscape, further reducing reliance on traditional payment methods and boosting the adoption of digital transactions in the country. – source: Nikkei Asia