Chinese mobile payment giants add support for credit cards issued overseas

DIGITAL PAYMENT: Overseas visitors can now link international credit cards to an Alipay or WeChat Pay wallet and use them wherever the services are accepted

Visitors to China can now link their international credit cards, including cards issued by Visa, Mastercard, JCB and Discover, to an Alipay or WeChat Pay digital wallet and use them to make payments for goods and services at merchants across the country.

Both payment service providers are enabling overseas visitors to link credit cards issued outside mainland China directly to their Alipay or WeChat Pay wallet and use them to make mobile payments without first having to set up a prepaid account.

Foreign cardholders could previously use international credit cards with WeChat Pay — also known as Weixin Pay — but only in a limited number of use cases and will now be able to use it wherever the services are accepted.

“The expanded merchant network includes categories such as dining, transportation, shopping, hotel accommodation and more,” WeChat Pay owner Tencent explains.

“Users can enjoy multiple payment methods such as scanning QR codes, presenting payment codes, Weixin Mini Programs and in-app payments, enhancing users’ payment experience both online and offline.

“After linking an international card, overseas users will be able to conveniently access over tens of millions of merchants, including small and medium-sized merchants. Transaction fees are waived for single transactions of less than or equal to 200 RMB to fulfll users’ small-amount and high-frequency payment needs, subject to the details specified on the payment page.

“People entering the Chinese mainland can use their passports, Mainland Travel Permit and Mainland Residence Permit for Hong Kong SAR, Macau SAR, and Taiwan residents or Foreign Permanent Resident ID Card to set up their Weixin Pay, link an international credit card or debit card, and start enjoying mobile payments across the country.”

Allowing foreign visitors to link their own credit cards to Alipay and WeChat Pay will also benefit merchants in China because it will give small and medium-sized enterprises “more opportunities to transact with international visitors who will now have access to the most widely accepted payment method in China, allowing them to get around easily, without hassle”, Mastercard says.

Chinese mobile payment giants add support for credit cards issued overseas was written by Tom Phillips and published by NFCW.