What's New in Payments

China to move to common QR payments standard

In depth: The fight for dominance in China’s mobile payment market — Caixin Global — “Under the plan, by the end of 2021 all merchants will be able to use one universal barcode to facilitate transactions through different payment service providers, including banks, Alibaba’s Alipay and Tencent’s WeChat Pay. Currently, payment providers issue different barcodes that can be used only on their own services.”


Transit Ticketing Today

Tencent reports 100 million transit ticketing mini-app users

100 million transit riders are paying with WeChat mini-program: Tencent — Caixin Global — “Ride Code allows subway and bus riders to pay for transit fares with QR codes directly upon boarding in various Chinese cities. At subway stations, that means showing your barcode at the turnstile. Riders do not need to visit ticket kiosks as the fare is deducted from their WeChat Pay wallet.”


What's New in Payments

WeChat Pay reports 500% increase in transaction volumes

WeChat Pay supports merchants expanding businesses by bringing its ecosystem to the world — WeChat Pay — “In 2018, the monthly average transaction volume saw an increase of 500% year on year, while the total transaction value increased 400%. Meanwhile, the number of service providers witnessed a year-on-year increase [of] 300%, and the number of merchants accepting WeChat Pay increased 700%. WeChat Pay is now available in 49 markets outside of the Chinese mainland, supporting cross-border payment transactions in 16 currencies.”


What's New in Payments

Tencent connects car registrations to WeChat Pay for pay-by-plate parking at 1,000 Chinese shopping malls

WeChat Pay launches auto scan-and-pay for parking in China’s shopping malls — South China Morning Post — “To be part of this system, car owners must register their plate numbers under their WeChat Pay accounts. Their plates are scanned by specially set-up cameras located at the exit points of car parking sites. The artificial intelligence-based system automatically matches the captured image of the plate number with a database of WeChat Pay users to determine the corresponding account and settle the parking fees.”




What's New in Payments

WeChat Pay ‘will not seek to offer more local payment wallets’

WeChat Pay to keep overseas focus on outbound tourism instead of offering more local wallets — South China Morning Post — “Tencent’s WeChat Pay said it will not seek to offer more local payment wallets to overseas customers over the next three years and will remain focused on serving outbound Chinese tourists better in popular overseas destinations… ‘In mainland China we have millions of users so we can make WeChat Pay into a successful payments tool… We don’t have many WeChat users in overseas countries so we should accept that it will be hard to develop payment tools for them.’”


What's New in Payments

Hong Kong to be global battlefront for mobile payments?

A payments battle is brewing in Hong Kong — Bloomberg — “Alipay’s azure blue logos began appearing two years ago in Hong Kong’s airport, greeting travelers from China who rely on the popular payments app back home. In recent months, taxis got them. Now stores and boutiques have them. They’re all signs of a battle brewing in Hong Kong that will test whether a Western-style financial system — based on banks, credit and debit cards — can fend off a pair of apps that have come to dominate how people spend and send money throughout China. If Ant Financial’s Alipay and Tencent Holdings Ltd’s WeChat Pay can expand into the city and win new customers there, why not in Europe and the US, too?”


Transit Ticketing Today

Shanghai Metro to accept WeChat Pay mobile payments at turnstiles

Ride the subway using WeChat Pay — Global Times — “Starting Monday, WeChat Pay will be accepted as a means of payment for passengers riding the metro lines of Shanghai. After downloading and using the official mobile app of Shanghai Metro ‘Metro Daduhui’, passengers can pass through station gates simply by scanning the WeChat QR code.”


What's New in Payments

China goes live with QR payments spending cap

China caps store mobile payments at $80 — Nikkei Asian Review — “The People’s Bank of China, the country’s central bank, implemented the caps on Sunday for different types of QR code payments, based on relative risk. For payments made by scanning a printed QR code displayed by the seller, the daily limit is set at 500 yuan (about US$80)… Such popular services as Alibaba Group Holding’s Alipay and Tencent Holdings’ WeChat Pay are affected.”


What's New in Payments

Chinese mobile payment platforms are now used by 527m people

China’s mobile payment users hit 527 million in 2017 — ECNS — “China had a total of 527m mobile payment users at the end of last year, up by 57.8m from a year before… WeChat Pay, one of China’s major mobile payment service providers, attracted over 800m validated users by September 2017. The number of monthly offline payments was 280% higher than that from a year ago… Alipay, the online payment platform under ecommerce giant Alibaba, launched in 36 overseas destinations, benefiting hundreds of thousands of merchants. Overseas transactions surged by 306% in the last year when compared with 2016.”


What's New in Payments

Tencent opens up WeChat Pay to overseas credit card holders

WeChat Pay now allows users to bind overseas credit cards — Technode — “Expats living in China and residents of Hong Kong, Macao, and Taiwan — places where WeChat is ambitiously expanding its user base — can now bind and activate WeChat Pay accounts with credit card services provided by MasterCard, Visa, and JCB… This is the first time users are able to use WeChat Pay without having a Chinese bank account or credit card.”


Transit Ticketing Today

Hong Kong transit operator to test WeChat Pay and Alipay

Contactless competition: WeChat Pay is coming to Hong Kong’s MTR, and Alipay may not be far behind — South China Morning Post — “Commuters on Hong Kong’s MTR will soon be given a new quick payment option as the railway operator has partnered with the mainland’s second-largest mobile payment provider WeChat Pay, it announced on Thursday. WeChat Pay’s main rival, Alipay, said it would follow suit in the ‘near future’… While the initiative arguably benefits mainland tourists more than Hongkongers, it breaks a 20-year stronghold by the contactless Octopus card on how train fares can be paid for.”



What's New in Payments

Apple accepts WeChat Pay in bid to reverse sales decline

Apple accepts WeChat Pay in bid to reverse sales decline — China Daily — “Apple said it is ‘excited’ to introduce Chinese customers using WeChat Pay to purchase apps or subscribe to Apple Music, and will continue to offer payment options that are simple and convenient…. It previously supported credit card transactions, its indigenous Apple Pay, China’s UnionPay, and Alipay, WeChat Pay’s biggest rival.”




What's New in Payments

WeChat Pay launches overseas open platform

WeChat Pay launches overseas open platform — Marbridge Daily — “Overseas merchants and service providers will be able to submit application materials online, receive a confirmation email, and sign a service contract online to begin using WeChat Pay. Applicants can also use the open platform to look up authorised overseas institutions and service providers that have partnered with WeChat Pay.”


What's New in Payments

Edinburgh Tattoo to accept WeChat Pay

Pic credit: The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo

Traditional annual Scottish tourism highlight The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo is to get a very modern twist from 2018 with the addition of support for Chinese internet giant Tencent’s WeChat Pay mobile payments platform, enabling the growing number of visitors from China who attend the event to purchase tickets, merchandise and other services from their smartphones. More


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