Tencent will let foreign users link their Visa cards to their WeChat mobile payments accounts from July, after a similar move by Alipay.
This will allow tourists to use their smartphones to pay tens ofmillions of Chinese merchants that already accept the domestic version of WeChat Pay.
Foreign tourists visiting China will soon have an easier time making cash less payments for various services, thanks to Tencent Holdings and itspopular mobile payment service, WeChat Pay. Tencent plans to enable payments through international bank cards, including Visa, starting from next month. This move follows a similar initiative by AntGroup's Alipay.
Foreign bank cards on these platforms were limited due to financial and datacontrols, however, with China reopening its borders to overseas visitors, the difficulty in making everyday payments has become acommon complaint.
Royal Chen Qiru, the Vice President of Tencent Financial Technology, announced at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting of the New Champions that Tencent would allow foreign users to link their creditor debit cards issued by Visa and other major international operatorsfrom July.
This development will enable travelers to conveniently use theirsmartphones for payments at millions of merchants across China thatalready accept the domestic version of WeChat Pay. Chen emphasized Tencent's commitment to enhancing access to China's online and offline merchants for overseas visitors, working in accordance withrelevant regulatory bodies and policies.
Alipay, operated by Ant Group's affiliate Alibaba Group Holding, alsorecently announced that foreign users would be able to pay in Chinausing Mastercard credit or debit cards. Additionally, Alipay supports overseas bank cards issued by Visa, Diners Club International and Discover.
Chinahas been steadily moving toward becoming a cashless society heavilyreliant on digital and mobile payments. However, this transformationhas left certain groups behind, including the less tech-savvy elderly population and foreign visitors who typically do not possess a Chinese bank account.
In November 2019, Alipay introduced Tour Pass, enabling foreign visitors to add funds from international credit or debit cards for online shopping and in-store payments using Alipay. During the same month, WeChat began accepting credit cards for payment on selected platformssuch as ride-hailing service Didi Chuxing and China's official trainticketing site, "12306." Payment partners included Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Discover Global Network, and JCB. Scmp
bilingual sources from SFBC