Tencent yesterday said it has expanded its user base to Hong Kong residents, who now will not need to have a Chinese bank account or credit card to take advantage of the Mainland’s popular cashless payment system.
With the announcement, Hong Kong residents can now bind and activate their WeChat Pay accounts with any international credit cards, including MasterCard, Visa and JCB.
They can activate WeChat Pay in two ways:
- Bind any Mastercard, Visa and JCB credit cards for online payments such as online shopping, taxi hailing, ticket purchasing, bike-shares, food delivery and hotel booking.
- Bind any credit cards or bank cards issued by 71 banks in China, together with proof of a valid passport, China Resident Identity Card, a Mainland Travel Permit for Hong Kong and Macau Residents or a Mainland Travel Permit for Taiwan Residents, to pay for all online and offline payments. Users with these bank cards can also activate their QQ Wallet.
Besides Hong Kong residents, Tencent opens WeChat to expatriates living in China as well as to Macau and Taiwan residents.
According to the 2017 WeChat Data Report that tracked consumption habits of foreign residents in China, over 64% of expatriates use Weixin Pay for their daily needs, especially for splitting bills, food delivery, transportation, dining, as well as shopping in stores, supermarkets and online.
With the introduction of using credit card accounts, this number is expected to grow as the payment system will be simpler and more convenient to use for citizens outside of China.
In China, WeChat is being used by a group of friends to split a restaurant bill, check into or out of a hotel, board a bus or train, hail a car service or hop on a bike. WeChat provides access to China’s car hailing service Didi Chuxing and bicycle-sharing system Mobike.