WeChat Pay extends services to visitors of the Canton Trade Fair

Mobile payments app WeChat Pay (Weixin in Chinese) has launched a month-long inbound payment service targeting overseas visitors to the China Import and Export Fair, also known as Canton Fair, in a bid to provide convenient payment options for global traders. Weixin Pay is a mobile payment service within the WeChat app designed for users on the Chinese mainland. Its services will now be extended to 18,000 taxis, 308 subway stations, six international hotels and over 1,000 merchants, providing comprehensive support for foreign visitors in terms of dining, accommodation, transportation, shopping and entertainment. During the month, the card binding and WeChat account opening processes will be optimized, and 130,000 bilingual usage guides, signs, table stickers and commercial screen guides will be distributed in Guangzhou, capital of Guangdong province. Three inbound payment desks at Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport and the Fair’s complex are available to help foreign visitors. WeChat Pay has also collaborated with the local government to train 3,000 volunteers to provide mobile payment guidance for foreign traders, both inside and outside the venue.

A Brazilian trader of garments said he was pleasantly surprised that he could use WeChat Pay during his visit to the Canton Fair. Payments are processed within seconds with a simple scan of QR codes, he said. “I could conveniently use mobile payments for transportation and to sample the local food,” he added. The Fair, held twice a year, concluded its first phase on April 19. A total of 125,440 overseas buyers from 212 countries and regions visited the fair, representing an increase of 23.2% compared with the last session in October, the organizer said. In addition to payments by cash, the Fair’s organizers have facilitated digital payments for overseas visitors by adding more payment options, including WeChat Pay, Alipay, UnionPay and some overseas e-wallets. The People’s Bank of China (PBOC) has released a payment guide that provides foreigners with text and graphic instructions on using bank cards, cash, mobile payments and e-CNY in China.

Alipay, the digital payment arm of Chinese financial technology company Ant Group, has ensured that foreigners in China can use mobile payments without any hurdles, rolling out translation services for 16 languages recently. Data from Alipay showed that the transaction volume of foreign visitors paying through the mobile payment app surged nearly 10 times year-on-year in March, with the number of active users increasing nearly six-fold during this period from a year earlier. WeChat Pay also said the foreign card transaction volume has grown quickly. The average daily transaction amount increased by over three times in March compared to July last year before the payment service was upgraded, with the average daily transaction volume growing by over four times. WeChat Pay said it will take the opportunity of the Fair to launch nationwide inbound payments, offering assistance to help foreigners travel and do business smoothly in China, the China Daily reports.