Beijing Capital International Airport and Beijing Daxing International Airport, the two airports in the Chinese capital, have launched dedicated payment service centers for the convenience of overseas travelers. The centers are located near the exit of the international arrival halls at the airports and offer a wide range of services to cater to the diverse payment needs of foreign visitors. Their primary objective is to offer comprehensive payment consultation and guidance to foreign visitors who arrive in Beijing. Travelers can seek assistance for downloading mobile payment applications and using ATMs for cash withdrawal, among other services. A key feature of the Capital Airport’s payment service center is an automated currency exchange machine. The machine can interact with users in eight languages and exchange 21 currencies, effectively meeting the cash needs of a majority of overseas visitors. In addition, the center has an ATM for cash withdrawals.
Currently, the two airports collectively host five bank outlets, seven manned currency exchange counters, 24 ATMs and one automated currency exchange machine, while most businesses at the airports accept foreign bank cards. To address differences in payments in China and foreign countries, the People's Bank of China (PBOC) and the State Administration of Foreign Exchange (SAFE) have focused on mobile payments, acceptance of overseas bank cards, cash use and account services. In China, mobile wallets such as Alipay and WeChat Pay are the most popular for financial transactions because they offer the convenience of just scanning a QR code using a smartphone to make payments. However, in many foreign countries and regions, cash and bank cards remain the preferred means of payment, posing challenges for travelers to China. Some foreigners are surprised when they encounter China's mobile payments for taxis, restaurants, shops and practically everything, including giving tips to beggars. Both Alipay and WeChat Pay wallets are very convenient forms of payment, but most foreigners arriving in China do not have them installed on their phones and linked to their credit cards.