Tencent to Enable International Card Payments via WeChat Pay, Enhancing Mobile Payment Experiences for Visitors to China

Tencent has announced that WeChat Pay will enable international visitors to China to make payments using their international credit or debit cards, such as Visa, starting from mid-July. This move aims to enhance mobile payment experiences for overseas visitors, allowing them to access a wide range of merchants and services, both online and offline. Tencent’s efforts align with the full resumption of travel and tourism in China and major upcoming international events. The integration of international card payments into WeChat Pay follows previous initiatives that enabled overseas users to link their cards for various online services and facilitated cross-border remittances through Weixin.

KUALA LUMPUR, 3 July 2023 – Tencent, a leading technology company, has announced that starting mid-July, visitors to China will be able to pay with international credit or debit cards, such as Visa, through WeChat Pay. This move aims to enhance mobile payment experiences for overseas visitors in the country, providing them with convenient access to a wide range of merchants and services.

During a panel at the World Economic Forum’s Annual Meeting of the New Champions in Tianjin on 28 June, Royal Chen, Vice President of Tencent Financial Technology, highlighted the company’s efforts to open payment services to visitors in line with the full resumption of travel and tourism in China, as well as major upcoming international events scheduled this year.

“Tencent has been diligently working to offer greater access to China’s online and offline merchants for overseas visitors, with the support of relevant regulatory bodies and policies,” said Chen.

Once international credit or debit cards are linked to WeChat, visitors will have seamless access to a diverse range of merchants and services, including shopping, dining, hotel accommodations, and transportation. This integration will cover both online and offline experiences, catering to all aspects of life in China.

In 2019, Weixin Pay started supporting overseas users in linking their international credit cards for various pilot online services, including ride-hailing service Didi, eCommerce app JD.com, travel booking app Ctrip, and 12306, the official train ticket booking site run by China Railway.

Since 2021, Weixin users have been able to receive wages or family support remitted to China from major global remittance institutions, such as Wise and Remitly. With a simple forwarding of the remittance notification to Weixin, overseas users can send money to their family members through Weixin messages, making cross-border remittance as easy as sending a text message.

Looking ahead, Weixin’s ecosystem will be further opened to global payment and financial partners, creating a new, open, diverse, and inclusive global payment network through the ecological connection of payment networks worldwide. This initiative aims to better connect cross-border services and establish an innovative concept known as the “1+1+1” model to build an open global payment network.

Meanwhile, Chinese fintech companies are innovating to make cross-border remittances as convenient as sending messages while ensuring transaction security and compliance. In 2016, WeChat Pay HK launched We Remit cross-border remittance, allowing domestic helpers to send money back to their families in the Philippines and Indonesia. Through technology and innovative solutions, the network seamlessly connects users in different regions, reducing the digital divide.

Author: Terry KS

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