What is WeChat Pay?

What is WeChat Pay - for end users

WeChat pay is a payment solution completely integrated inside the social and messaging application of Tencent: WeChat. It appears in the “WeChat Wallet” section of the application.

Through the wallet section and the integrated browser of WeChat, users can perform a variety of transactions using WeChat Pay, including and not limited to:

  • Transfer money to friends (especially as “red envelopes” shared during Chinese festivals)

  • Perform transactions on e-commerce websites

  • Top up their mobile

  • Invest in wealth management funds

  • Pay for water and electricity bills

  • Order and pay for a cab

  • Purchase a train or flight ticket

  • Book a night in a hotel

  • Purchase movie tickets

  • And much more…

These transactions are meant to be a future money-maker for Tencent. It is good to keep in mind that Tencent is very different from its Western competitor Facebook: while Facebook makes 95% of its revenue from advertising, the figure was only 17% for Tencent in 2017.

Tencent actually makes most of its money through value-added services. And WeChat Pay will pay a central role in this service strategy.


How do foreigners create WeChat Pay account (for individual)?

Living in China without WeChat Pay or Alipay is like living without cash or credit card. Survey shows only 10% of users prefer to pay via credit card or cash over WeChat Pay or Alipay. So how can foreigners open WeChat Pay account?

Requirement :

  • WeChat account

  • Passport

  • A Chinese bank card

  • Phone that linked with your bank card

Steps 1: find the WeChat Wallet “Cards” section

Go to your WeChat and click on Me/Wallet/Cards. This will take you to a section to add a Chinese bank card.

Note if you don’t see Wallet in your WeChat, it is because you downloaded the international version of WeChat. Here is a trick to see the WeChat Wallet on the international version of WeChat.

You can click on Setting/General/Language to change the WeChat language to Chinese.

This will activate your WeChat Wallet. You can then change your language back to English and WeChat Wallet should stay visible.

Step 2: Add a bank card

Now you can add a credit or debt card to link with your WeChat Wallet.

You will need a Chinese bank card.

*Important: make sure you use the exact name you use that matches with the name linked with your bank card. The name field is also case sensitive. 

Step 3:  done!  

Now you have successfully linked your bank card with WeChat!

How do I change the bank that’s linked with the WeChat Wallet (for individuals)?

Some people might link a friend’s bank card with WeChat Wallet and later wants to change it, you may bump into a lot of error messages if the two bank cards have different names. Here is how you can change your bank card:

  1. You can got to Wallet/Card to delete the previous card

  2. In the add a card page, click on the green information sign to change your name

  3. Before you click on change names, make sure your WeChat Wallet has a balance of 0

  4. Make sure your WeChat Pay account are not linked with a third party company for automatic payment (such as Uber, Didi).

  5. If you see an error message and is not sure what it means, it could possibly be the WeChat mess up the English translation. In the case, you should switch the language back to Chinese and see that it says.

  6. Then you can proceed to the adding a bank card section (see section above)

What is WeChat Pay for companies?

Personal WeChat payment is only used for peer-to-peer transactions. It cannot be connected with a company.

Company WeChat Pay account will settle the payment in a company’s bank account. The most common way you can use a company’s payment account is to connect it with your website, Apps or your WeChat shop.

Today, you can use company’s WeChat Pay in the following 4 settings:

  1. In App web-based payment

This is the most common way to use WeChat payment. You can embed it to your WeChat shop. When users make a payment, they will just need to enter 6-digit pin code or scan of finger print. Below is an example of how users usually pay on a WeChat/mobile shop.

2. QR code payment

QR code payment is usually used when your customers are shopping on a desktop website. The QR code will be automatically generated by the WeChat payment system. You customers just need to scan the QR code with WeChat or Alipay to make the payment.

3. In-App Payment

You can integrate WeChat Pay or Alipay on your Apps. Having these popular payment option available for your users will increase the conversion on your Apps.

4. Quick Pay

WeChat Quick Pay is the most common way to accept payment in a physical store. The WeChat payment solution can be connected with your POS system. This way you can scan the WeChat payment QR code of the use. It’s a much faster payment solution than cash or credit card. In this case, users don’t even needs to enter the 6-digital pin code to approve the payment.

5. Mini-program payments

Mini-program Payments are triggered if users try to purchase items or services online via a WeChat Mini-program (an App built within the WeChat ecosystem). They are similar to WeChat Web-based payment, although they necessitate a specific technical integration.

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