New Chitose Airport becomes world’s first WeChat Pay flagship airport

WeChat Pay embraces Hokkaido and lays the groundwork to better travelling experiences with special offers

WeChat Pay has opened an immersive smart shopping experience zone in New Chitose Airport with the aim of providing Chinese travelers with a familiar payment experience as soon as they deplane from the aircraft or check in for their outgoing flight. In addition, the presence of China’s innovative mobile payment brand in an international airport will help demonstrate the brand’s capabilities to travelers from around the world.

According to statistics from the Japan National Tourism Organization, Japan received over 25 million foreign visitors in 2017, including 6.22 million visitors from China, putting the country at the top of the list in terms of the number of tourists visiting the island nation. With the comprehensive cooperation between WeChat Pay and merchants in Hokkaido, Chinese WeChat Pay users, who are visiting the island, will have an opportunity to pay for products and services through the WeChat platform just as they so when shopping in their home country. WeChat currently serves over 980 million monthly active users.

In addition to New Chitose Airport, over 500 merchants and 2,000 shops across Hokkaido also accept WeChat Pay, including in Sapporo, Otaru, Hakodate, Noboribetsu and other popular destinations, as well as at Shiroi Koibito, Hoshino Resorts Tomamu, Sapporo Drug Store, and other leading retailers.

When shopping at participating merchants, Chinese users can use WeChat Pay to make payments without needing to exchange currencies as WeChat Pay provides a direct conversation from yuan to yen, providing them with a smarter and more convenient shopping experience when abroad. In addition, shoppers may benefit from a random discount of up to 888 yuan (approx. US$134) when the value of the purchase exceeds 200 yuan (approx. US$30).

WeChat Pay aims to better support Japanese merchants, serve Chinese visitors and help improve the merchants’ performance on the open platform

In , the WeChat team rolled out its overseas open platform and smart cross-border payment solution WE Plan in Tokyo, with the aim of better supporting merchants and service providers outside of China by making the application process for the merchant easy to complete and the process of completing a purchase as seamless as possible for the shopper, while also providing marketing and technical support. Participating merchants are allowed to create an end-to-end sales and service chain, covering pre-sale, in-sale and after-sale services by converting shoppers who have viewed the merchants’ promotions on WeChat Moments, coupons and official WeChat accounts into potential customers at their brick-and-mortar stores as well as with the support of the “payment as membership” program.

At the launch event, New Chitose Airport representative director and chairman Takeshi Moriyama said in his speech that with the promotional program on the WeChat platform, Chinese visitors will have an opportunity to experience the charm of Hokkaido’s food culture at the airport and to be able to do so conveniently. Additionally, the tie-up with the payment service provider will help attract more visitors from abroad to Hokkaido and contribute to the rejuvenation of the island.

WeChat Pay has been accepted by a growing number of leading chain department stores, restaurants, tourist attractions and parks as well as airports across Japan. As of , the number of merchants accepting WeChat Pay in Japan has increased 20-fold since the beginning of the year, while the number of participating stores has jumped by a factor of 35. In the second half of the year, the single-day peak amount of transactions completed via WeChat Pay climbed by a multiple of 60, while the number of transactions increased by a multiple of 30 since .

Currently, WeChat Pay’s cross-border business is providing approved payment services in 25 countries and regions outside of China and supporting more than 13 currencies. WeChat Pay plans to continue its expansion beyond the home market with the goal of showcasing its Smart Life concept to the world.