With an ever increasing number of Chinese outbound tourists who see shopping as a key part of the travel experience, more and more merchants worldwide proactively reach out to add WeChat Pay to their list of payment options, with the aim of providing mainland Chinese visitors with a convenient and smart shopping experience as well as attracting more travelers from the region into their shops. WeChat Pay is also increasing its investment outside of its home market with the goal of providing merchants worldwide with a proven cross-border payment solution and diversified business service capabilities as well as helping them better connect with Chinese visitors.
The capabilities of WeChat’s cross-border payment ecosystem help merchants worldwide connect with Chinese visitors and showcase its Smart Life concept to the world
At the beginning of 2017, WeChat Pay started rolling out its proven payment solution, starting with Hong Kong, Thailand and Japan, and then quickly expanding into other countries and regions, creating more opportunities for merchants around the world. In addition to its payment capability, WeChat’s cross-border payment ecosystem also provides merchants worldwide with services in terms of membership, big data analysis, social marketing, coupons, advertising and mini apps, helping them finetune their approach to Chinese visitors. Currently, WeChat Pay’s cross-border business is providing approved payment services in 25 countries and regions outside of China and supporting direct payment in 12 currencies across 20 countries and regions.
In April, WeChat Pay gave the first public presentation of its cross-border payment system and launched its Payment + Membership solution in Hong Kong. Currently, most of the major merchants in Hong Kong accept WeChat Pay, allowing Chinese visitors to benefit from a more convenient shopping experience through their smartphone.
In July, WeChat Pay rolled out its new overseas open platform in Japan, reducing the barriers for merchants in that country who wanted to connect to the WeChat network as well as improving the quality of the connection and the transparency of the information. WeChat Pay also launched the smart cross-border payment solution WE Plan in the country. WE Plan supports 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. Japan’s Shiroi Koibito Park was able to provide Chinese visitors with a smarter travel experience by keeping Chinese audiences informed with the latest information and updates through their official WeChat account in combination with WeChat Pay, in addition to the other capabilities of the WeChat ecosystem. The park promotes the factory tour, the dessert making experience workshop, the chocolate lounge and the nest-shaped restaurant, among its other attractions, via its official WeChat account, providing Chinese visitors an opportunity to get to know and experience the facilities before they visit the park. In addition, the WeChat Pay-supported Duty-free Counter service allows Chinese visitors to use WeChat Pay to make payments for souvenirs without the hassle of needing to first obtain Japanese yen from an ATM or currency exchange dealer. Twenty-two percent of the shoppers at the Shiroi Koibito Park now use WeChat Pay to complete their purchase. Additionally, visitors can use the photos they have uploaded to the park’s official WeChat account to create a personalized Original Shiroi Koibito Can souvenir. This unique promotion has not only allowed the park to reach a larger audience but also increased the percentage of repeat visitors.
WeChat Pay has been widely accepted in Thailand, from the shops of duty-free chains to small vendors operating along the streets of Chiang Mai and Phuket. In , 7-Eleven’s 9,414 outlets across Thailand were connected to WeChat Pay, expanding the Smart Life experience across the country. In , the number of transactions made by Chinese visitors in Thailand had increased by a factor of six when compared with the April of the prior year.
WeChat Pay makes this year’s Christmas shopping season the most compelling to date with a discount of up to 888 yuan (approx. US$134) for shoppers around the world
The WeChat Pay Global Christmas Shopping Season promotion extends to retailers of all kinds, including cosmetics shops, chain retailers, integrated drugstores, food and souvenir shops, jewelry stores, department stores, supermarkets, duty-free shops, fashion outlets, tourist attractions, restaurants, bus stations, train stations, airports and night markets. With the support of nearly 100,000 participating shops, WeChat Pay is spurring the growth of the cross-border travel shopping sector through this year’s Christmas season.
During the promotion period, Chinese shoppers may benefit from a discount of 36 yuan (approx. US$5) when the value of the purchase to be paid with WeChat Pay exceeds 366 yuan (approx. US$55) at participating shops in Hong Kong, including Mannings, CRcare, PrizeMart, Chow Tai Fook, 7-Eleven, Sincere Department Store and Shiseido. In addition, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) credit cardholders are eligible for additional discounts at certain shops. ICBC cardholders will also be able to receive a discount of up to 888 yuan (approx. US$134) when the value of the purchase exceeds 200 yuan (approx. US$30), in addition to a bonus of 50 yuan (approx. US$7.60) when the value of the purchase exceeds 800 yuan (approx. US$121) and a further bonus of 30 yuan (approx. US$4.60) for each additional 800 yuan in the value of the overall purchase at many retail outlets worldwide, including Bic Camera, Donki Hote, Narita International Airport, AEON Stores and Kokumin in Japan; King Power and Central in Thailand; Duty-free shops at Kennedy Airport in New York, at many shops in San Francisco International Airport and hotels and casinos operated by Caesars Entertainment in the USA; Ever Rich Duty Free Shop and Tasa Meng Duty Free Shop at Taipei Taoyuan International Airport as well as the Tasa Meng Food Shop at Taipei Airport; DongWha Duty Free Shop, Etude House, Lotte Duty Free Shop and Shinsegae Duty Free Shop in South Korea. The limited promotions are available on a first-come, first-served basis.
With the launch of the WeChat Pay Global Christmas Shopping Season promotion, WeChat continues to expand its cross-border payment solution across the world. The WeChat team said they plan to continue providing merchants worldwide with proven solutions and product capabilities with the aim of connecting more merchants to WeChat Pay and expanding the Smart Life experience to more locations around the world.