January 30, 2018
One of the most popular mobile wallets in China has taken a significant step toward possible worldwide acceptance. Many consumers who do not have Chinese bank account or credit cards now can link foreign credit cards to WeChat Pay accounts. WeChat Pay is the payment service for WeChat, a Chinese social app with nearly a billion users. WeChat Pay, launched in 2013, boasts a reported 600 million active users and is second only to Alipay as the most popular electronic payment method in China.
Late last week, WeChat said expats living in mainland China and residents of Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan can use JCB, Mastercard or Visa cards to fund WeChat online or in-store purchases in China. Experts see the move as an indication that WeChat Pay will be available internationally in the near future.
The company has already enabled Chinese tourists to pay using their WeChat Pay wallets at participating retailers in several countries. But opening the wallet to non-Chinese consumers is a necessary step to wider global acceptance.