WeChat, a Chinese social media platform, is one of the most popular chat apps in the world. With more than 650 million daily users, the app has become one of the most heavily used in existence.
Over time, the app has expanded to allow Chinese citizens and tourists to make electronic payments. WeChat Pay, which is fully integrated into the WeChat app, is popular among Chinese companies, private citizens, and small businesses. Fortunately, WeChat pay for tourists, including study abroad students, can be used to purchase items in China.
What is WeChat Pay?
As stated above, WeChat Pay allows individuals to make electronic payments using their smartphone. A significant number of Chinese citizens use WeChat Pay instead of paper currency, and as a tourist, setting up a WeChat Pay account can make purchasing products, sending money, and paying bills considerably easier. If you choose to make a purchase in China, the app will automatically convert your currency into CNY (and vice-versa for tourists). Once the buyer confirms the deal in the app, the money will be deducted from your home account.
WeChat Pay supports a large number of currencies, which include, but are not limited to USD, CAD, EUR, GBP, AUD, and NZD. Vendors agree to accept these currencies, and if your country’s currency is not supported, transactions can be made in USD.
Accepted Payment Methods
WeChat Pay users have access to a wide variety of payment methods, and many Chinese citizens and businesses appreciate the app’s versatility. The following types of payments can be accepted through the app:
- QR Code Scan (Quick Pay) – Allows the vendor to scan QR codes on customer phones.
- In-app Web Payments – Followers of retailers and other vendors can purchase products and services offered by online retailers.
- QR Code Payment – Chinese vendors create different QR codes for different products. When a QR code is scanned, the user has the option to purchase the corresponding product via the app.
- In-app Payment – Smartphone users can integrate WeChat Pay into their other apps. If a user wishes to make a payment through another app, they must give WeChat permission to carry out the transaction.
The creators of the app also created WeChat Pay for tourists and Chinese citizens alike. The app can be used by anyone from any country. WeChat Pay is accepted in most retail stores, restaurants, hospitals, taxis, entertainment venues, and hotels.
Setting Up a WeChat Pay Account
Setting up a WeChat Pay account as a tourist is relatively simple, and the process only consists of a few steps. To start using WeChat Pay in China, you must first download the app and link your WeChat wallet to your personal bank account. It is important to note, however, that you must have a Chinese bank account or a credit card from your home country. In the past, only Chinese credit cards where accepted, but the app now allows tourists to use international credit and debit cards in the app.
To set up WeChat Pay account, complete the following steps:
- Open the app and select the “Me” option. After selecting this option, tap “Wallet.”
- Select the “Bank Card” option.
- Choose “Add a Card.”
- Enter your card number into the prompt.
- Enter your passport ID number, name, and phone number.
- Once you have entered your card and personal information, you will be sent a confirmation code via SMS. Enter the code into the prompt.
- Once you enter the code, you will be asked to create a payment passcode. Similar to a PIN number, a passcode will allow you to approve payments.
- Accept the user agreement and begin using WeChat Pay to make transactions.
If you intend to use a foreign credit card in China, you will need to enter your billing information and the security code on the back of the card. You will also be asked to verify the card number. It is important to note, however, that some credit card issues charge foreign transaction fees, which can be up to 2% of the overall purchase price of a product or service. Your card issuer may also initially refuse to allow you to input your information due to fraud suspicions. This issue can usually be solved by contacting the issuer directly.
Once you have completed the steps listed above, you can start using WeChat Pay everywhere it is accepted, which is most of China. Get in touch with International Business Seminars today to learn more about our Chinese seminars for students.