China has about 700 million mobile payment users who can travel on a mobile phone. Today, more than 100 million foreign travelers can also use Alipay and WeChat to pay in mainland China.
Foreign visitors are also available in China for payment
On November 6, 2019, Alipay and WeChat Payment, which are in the first echelon of China’s mobile payment market, released a big move, and Ant Gold Service official Xuan has launched the “Alipay Overseas Edition”, and Tencent has partnered with five international credit card organizations to support international credit card-binding WeChat payments opened abroad. In short, foreigners can use Alipay and WeChat to pay in China.
On November 6th, at the 2nd Fair Financial Technology Sub-Forum, Ant Gold Service Chairman and CEO Jing Xiandong revealed that the “Alipay Overseas Edition” for foreign tourists has recently been launched. Tencent, guided by the relevant policies, works with Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Discover Global Network (including Diners Club, JCB (Japan’s international credit card brand) five international card organizations to support the international credit card opened abroad binding WeChat payment.
But there are differences behind the big deal of the payment giants. Alipay’s payment plan for foreign visitors to China is achieved through the bank’s small procedures. After foreign visitors enter the mainland of China to download the overseas edition of Alipay, they apply for an electronic “consumer card” of the Bank of Shanghai through the “TourPass” program, which is led by the Bank of Shanghai. Foreign users only need to pass the authentication, and binding their overseas bank card to this Chinese “consumer card” recharge, can be in the country’s food and clothing travel consumption scene to achieve offline sweep code payment. It is understood that this kind of foreign visitors to China dedicated electronic “consumer card”, a single top-up valid for 90 days, and can be recharged multiple times. After 90 days, the remaining funds in the card will be returned to the user’s overseas bank card.
The demand for mobile payments for foreign users is huge
In recent years, more and more compatriots from Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan and foreigners have chosen to travel, work and live in mainland China. According to data released by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, 140 million people visited china in 2018, up 1.2% from a year earlier. In 2018, China issued a total of 336,000 work permits for foreign talents, and more than 950,000 foreigners worked in China. The rapid growth of mobile payment demand for foreign users will become a new battleground for payment giants.
China Mobile’s payment subscribers grew 17.2% to 659 million in 2018 from 2017, and it is expected that the number of mobile payment subscribers will exceed 700 million in 2019 to 733 million. Alipay and Caipay (WeChat Payment, QQ Wallet) entered the market early, pay attention to the user experience and online and offline application scenarios rich, occupy more than 90% of the mobile payment market share, in the mobile payment market competition in the first echelon. In the second tier of Suning payment, UnionPay cloud flash payment, wallet and so on.
China Mobile’s payment market has slowed and has gradually entered the stock market. C-side mobile payment market is basically mature, payment platforms have shifted the center of gravity from the line to offline, all-round to create a payment ecosystem, the second half of the C-side mobile payment market will present the vertical offline scene, the diversification of services and so on.
Public information shows that Alipay, WeChat Payment in improving the payment needs of overseas users have been competing. Alipay is already the world’s largest non-social app, according to App Annie, a global mobile app data analytics platform. As of September 2019, Alipay and its nine overseas local wallet partners have more than 1.2 billion users worldwide. Among them, the service Chinese outbound travel of overseas businesses in 56 countries and regions, Chinese tourists are gradually realizing “a mobile phone travel around the world.”
WeChat Payment has supported overseas users to use mainland bank cards binding, and online and offline multi-scene consumption. Overseas users can cover up to 128 banks through five kinds of documents such as passport, Hong Kong and Macao homecoming card, Taiwan cell card, Hong Kong and Macao resident residence permit and Taiwan resident residence permit. In October, Tencent launched the We TaxFree Pass WeChat program for inbound visitors to facilitate the use of WeChat tax refunds when leaving the country.