Using WeChat Pay and foreign credit cards in China

Part 1 WeChat Pay

Step 1: Real-name authentication

In order to comply with relevant laws and regulations in China, WeChat Pay now requires real-name authentication for all users. For WeChat Pay users who don't have a China Mainland ID card, you must provide your identity information. These requirements follow global, industry-standard “Know Your Customer" banking regulations in order to combat fraud and illegal activity.

If you haven't yet completed the real name authentication process for WeChat Pay, you will receive a notification when attempting to complete a payment. In order to continue with payments, tap the notification and provide the following information:

1. Identity document (currently supports passport, Mainland Travel Permit for Hong Kong SAR and Macao SAR residents, and Mainland Travel Permit for Taiwan residents)

2. Your full name exactly as listed on your ID document (including capitalization and punctuation)

3. Your mobile phone number

4. Your address

5. Your occupation

6. Photo of your ID used above

7. Clear photo of your face

Upon providing valid information above, your WeChat Pay account will be enabled for payments. A record of this information, as per regulations, must be stored by WeChat Pay for identity verification purposes only and will be kept highly confidential.

Step 2: Link your bank card

Considering that overseas users more often use international credit cards issued outside China, Tencent, under the guidance and support of the People's Bank of China, has explored cooperation with five major international card organizations, namely Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Discover Global Network and JCB, to support international credit cards bundled with WeChat Pay, so as to provide a convenient mobile payment experience for people from abroad to spend money in the areas of food, clothing, housing and transportation in China. Please note, users without mainland China-issued credit cards are allowed only limited functions such as QR code payment.


• WeChat Help Center

• WeChat Pay to allow international cards for mobile payment

• 腾讯与五大国际卡组织探讨合作 支持港澳台同胞及外籍用户在内地用微信支付

Part 2 Cash or Credit Card?

Banks cards:

Cash is still more widely used in China than credit cards, especially in smaller cities and outside of more touristy areas. That said, many places in China, including hotels, upscale restaurants, and foreign brand-name stores accept credit cards, so it is worth bringing your credit card with you. Visa, MasterCard, and American Express are all widely accepted in big cities in China.

Depending on your bank, using a foreign credit card in China will usually incur a foreign currency exchange fee and a transaction fee from either your home or the local bank, which can add up fast. Because of this, we recommend only using a credit card for major transactions such as hotels, tours and flight tickets.

Meanwhile, make sure that you have enough cash on you to handle smaller payments whenever you're out and about, as foreign credit cards and debit cards may not be accepted everywhere.

Important Note: Please consult your bank or credit card company about whether you can use your card in China and if it will incur a fee. You should also let your bank back home know that you will be using your card in China; otherwise your transactions might be flagged as unusual activity and your card may get blocked.

AMTs for Cash withdrawal:

Most Chinese ATMs accept Visa (Plus), Cirrus and Maestro. They accept both chip-and-pin cards and cards with only a magnetic stripe on the back. There are also special ATMs for foreign cards in many major business and shopping areas.

You can check whether an ATM accepts your card by looking for your card’s logo. Alternatively, find the nearest ATM on Visa’s online locator or MasterCard’s online locator (for Cirrus and Maestro).

Your bank can confirm whether your card will work in China (and which card network it belongs to). Also, it is better to confirm if there will be any foreign exchange fee and what your withdrawal limit is.

Language and keypads

While a lot of the signage on ATMs is in Chinese, most ATMs do offer at least an English language option.

PIN length

Chinese banks use six-digit PINs. Some ATMs may accept a four-digit PIN, but others may not. If an ATM requires a six-digit PIN, adding two zeros to the front of your number often does the trick. However, do ask your bank to confirm this beforehand.


Cash or Credit Card? How to Pay for Things in China,which%20can%20add%20up%20fast.

ATMs in China: Credit cards and fees,looking%20for%20your%20card's%20logo.