10/12/2018

WeChat Pay Has Launched In M'sia, Here's Everything We Know So Far

  • WeChat Pay is now available in Malaysia, and we are one of the first markets outside of China with the wallet localised to our currency. 
  • WeChat will be able to capitalise on the existing 20 million users in Malaysia.
  • They also have an existing partnership with Hong Leong Bank to enable WeChat Pay merchants. 
Rumour has it that WeChat Pay will be launching in Malaysia sometime in June, preferably before Raya Aidilfitri hits.
And the launch will be happening just in time too, as PM Mahathir has expressed interest in turning the country cashless.
While it’s seemingly just another e-wallet to join the multitudes of other e-wallets that have appeared in the Malaysian market recently, one key difference is the role WeChat played in changing the payment infrastructure of the whole of China.

Tencent’s secret was QR codes / Image Credit: Edward Lindeman on YouTube

Tencent’s brainchild was able to win the e-wallet battle in China, and the e-wallet movement in China is so thoroughly entrenched that you can feasibly live an entire month in China without ever touching cash—even when buying hawker foods or shopping in wet markets.
Could WeChat Pay be the final missing link that truly brings the e-wallet era to Malaysia?
Here are a few things to know about WeChat’s launch into Malaysia.

1. Malaysia will be the first country outside of China to receive WeChat Pay.

WeChat Pay is technically available for everyone across the globe, but Malaysia will be the first country to receive WeChat Pay in our local currency—the ringgit.
“Malaysia is actually quite large in the sense that we have 20 million WeChat users, huge potential, and the market is quite warm towards internet products from China,” said senior vice president SY Lau.
WeChat might have an advantage in the acquisition of users in Malaysia, but time will tell if this can translate to a lead in the region that sees AliPay operating for about 1 year now.
Payment methods that will become available in Malaysia include Quick Pay, where vendors can scan a QR code on a customer’s mobile phone once they’ve made a payment for a quick transaction. Or, users can scan a QR code set up by the vendors to see a product’s information or transaction guides.
WeChat also offers options for In-App Payment, where vendors can authorise WeChat to process payments when users make payments through other apps.

2. WeChat Pay Malaysia has been on beta for 2 years now.

Tencent Group has been beta testing an early run of the ringgit-enabled wallet for two years now, by selecting 10,000 Malaysian WeChat users.
Those selected get a dual version of the wallet—one for ringgit and one for RMB, though users at the time weren’t able to transfer currencies from one wallet to the other.
That being said, on the user’s side, WeChat Pay should be compatible with any credit or debit card, and WeChat has already enabled foreign credit cards to be tied to WeChat Pay accounts.

3. Local banks are already on WeChat Pay.

As early as November 2017, Hong Leong Bank has already enabled merchants to accept payments for WeChat Pay, in anticipation for the wallet’s launch in Malaysia.
When this collaboration was done, it was to ensure that Chinese tourists can continue using their WeChat accounts while visiting Malaysia, though once WeChat Pay launches for Malaysians, then there will already be a list of merchants that accept the e-wallet from day zero.
WeChat Pay’s wallet can be found in the “Me” tab of the normal WeChat app.
Topping up the balance is relatively simple.
1. Hit the “Balance” icon in the wallet.
2. Accept the “I understand” popup explaining that the maximum limit is RM4,999.
3. Set up your payment PIN for the e-wallet.
4. Enter your card payment details, and key in the amount.
5. Verify the top up through your bank’s security page.
6. You’ll be able to see your new balance after that’s done.
At the moment, it appears that you can only do mobile top-ups or buy bus tickets in the app itself. There will probably be more merchants coming on board in the near future.
  • For more on e-wallets, you can read up about the homegrown e-wallet, BigPay that will apparently “be worth more than AirAsia”. 

9/28/2018

Tencent confirms plans to launch WeChat Pay in Malaysia

Tencent confirms plans to launch WeChat Pay in Malaysia


Tencent Holdings plans to unveil WeChat Pay in Malaysia in early 2018, having obtained an e-payment license for local transactions in the country, according to Reuters. This follows Tencent’s announcement in July this year that it applied for a licence in Malaysia because of the large Chinese community in the country.
Quoting Tencent’s senior VP S.Y. Lau, the report stated that there are 20 million WeChat users in Malaysia, and that the market is welcoming towards internet products from China. Lau added that the company is “not in a hurry” to quicken its expansion plans overseas or boost the monetisation rate of its digital assets. He also said that WeChat, which now has 980 million monthly active users, could be the “killer product” to front expansion abroad for Tencent, as its payment function attracts more services from merchants.
According to Lau, the eventual aim was to spread Chinese culture worldwide by creating “super intellectual property” that leverages Tencent’s various businesses from upstream to downstream. One example would be its publishing arm, China Literature, selling popular novels and turning them into video games and dramas through other businesses within Tencent.
For the third quarter ended 30 September 2017, Tencent saw a 61% increase in earnings to US$9,825 million. Online advertising business revenue jumped by 49% to RMB11,042 million, while media advertising revenues increased by 29% to RMB4,122 million. This was mainly due to growth in revenues from its mobile media platforms such as Tencent Video, which benefited from popular drama series such as Nothing Gold Can Stay and self-commissioned variety shows such as The Temptation of Dinner Season 2.
Social and other advertising revenues increased by 63% to RMB6,920 million, reflecting higher advertising revenues derived from Weixin (also known as WeChat) – mainly Weixin Moments and Weixin Official Accounts – as well as other mobile applications. According to Tencent’s third quarter 2017 financial announcement, advertisements in Weixin Moments increased due to strong advertising demand, as well as further expanded key accounts and long-tail advertisers.
Tencent also reported a 56% increase in social networks revenues to RMB15,280 million. This was driven mainly by revenue growth from digital content services such as live broadcast and subscription video-on-demand, as well as from the sales of virtual items. In its latest financial announcement, Tencent stated that it will continue to boost investment in video content, especially self-commissioned video content, and reinforce its content recommendation algorithms.
Meanwhile, revenue for online games increased by 48% to RMB26,844 million, reflecting mainly contributions from Tencent’s smartphone games such as “Honour of Kings” and the China version of “Contra Return”. Revenues from Tencent’s other businesses also increased by 143% to RMB12,044 million due to higher revenues from our payment related and cloud services.
“We believe this success reflects our increasing investment in self-commissioned video content, our improved selection of licensed video content, and our scheduling and audience management initiatives. The listing of our online literature platform, China Literature, in November also reflects the value of our years of investment in the business. We believe our multi-faceted digital content businesses are synergistic with each other, and allow us to deliver unique content to our users,” chairman and CEO of Tencent, Ma Huateng, said.
The potential launch of WeChat Pay comes after Alipay made its foray into Malaysia in June this year, with the collaboration of Genting and CIMB Bank introduce cashless payment at Resorts World Genting. In August, Public Bank also partnered with Alibaba Group’s affiliate company Ant Financial Services Group to offer Alipay mobile wallet services. Last month, Malaysia Airports partnered with Alipay to create awareness, boost interest and strengthen its brand positioning among Chinese travellers. According to Badlisham Ghazali, managing director of Malaysia Airports, partnering with the cashless payment platform is a “major step” towards embracing the future of retail and F&B transactions at its airports.
Website: http://www.marketing-interactive.com/tencent-confirms-plans-to-launch-wechat-pay-in-malaysia/ 

9/14/2018

WeChat Pay now allows users to bind overseas credit cards

WeChat Pay now allows users to bind overseas credit cards


Tencent’s WeChat Pay, one of China’s major mobile payment services, announced today that international credit cards are now allowed on the mobile payment platform. Expats living in China and residents of Hong Kong, Macao, and Taiwan—places where WeChat is ambitiously expanding its user base—can now bind and activate WeChat Pay accounts with credit card services provided by MasterCard, Visa, and JCB.
It’s worth noting that this is the first time users are able to use WeChat Pay without having a Chinese bank account or credit card, according to a company statement from Tencent.
As China is going cashless, WeChat Pay and Alipay—a mobile payment service under Alibaba’s financial arm Ant Financial—have become ubiquitous and embedded in all kinds of daily consumption settings, such as online shopping, ride-hailing, ticket purchasing, bike renting, food delivery, and hotel booking.
Released in August 2013, WeChat Pay has expanded to 25 countries around the world, serving the large amount of Chinese tourists traveling abroad. “WeChat is initially a social app,” Grace Yin, Director of WeChat Pay Cross-border Operation at Tencent, told TechNode last week in Guangzhou. “If [local users] don’t have experience using WeChat, then we cannot ask them to establish WeChat payment,” she said.
In fact, WeChat Pay is popular among the expats living in China. According to a data report released by Tencent last year, over 64% of foreign expats in China used WeChat Pay for their daily needs. It’s fair to say that most people (including the TechNode team) don’t need to leave their house with their wallet any longer.
Website: https://technode.com/2018/01/24/wechat-pay-now-allows-users-to-bind-overseas-credit-cards/ 

8/31/2018

Jack Ma’s Alipay takes on WeChat’s ‘instant apps’

Jack Ma’s Alipay takes on WeChat’s ‘instant apps’

China's central bank considering tough regulations on online payments
Photo credit: Ant Financial.
In China, smartphone apps have never felt more obsolete. WeChat, China’s most popular messaging app, hosts an overwhelming number of services inside itself: food delivery, ride-hailing, live streaming, and more. Now, China’s leading mobile payment app, Alipay, is trying to kill off apps too.
Alipay is pushing out “mini programs,” lightweight apps that live inside Alipay itself.
Like WeChat’s own instant apps, which launched in January, Alipay’s don’t require users to download anything. Instead, people scan a QR code to access them.
Here’s Ofo’s bike-sharing instant app in Alipay. You can’t open it in WeChat or a web browser.

Alipay – run by Alibaba spin-off Ant Financial – opened up its mini programs system to developers at the end of August. According to an Ant Financial spokesperson, they will become accessible to users “soon” but declined to specify when or how.
For WeChat, mini programs are a way to rope in the plethora of offline services and payment scenarios still outside the ever-expanding WeChat-verse. Bus stops and shops, for instance, can roll out their own mini programs, which can then tie into customer loyalty programs and marketing campaigns in WeChat.

Copycat

Alipay, which is locked in a fierce battle with WeChat Pay, is now playing catch up with mini programs. According to research firm Analysys, Alipay captured 53.7 percent of China’s mobile payment market in this year’s first quarter. Tencent’s equivalent was in second at 39.5 percent.
Chasing after WeChat has had its own advantages, though – Alipay was able to copy parts of WeChat’s mini program source code. In August, the company was caught and apologized after someone found the name of a WeChat developer left inside Alipay’s development files.
Alipay captured 53.7 percent of China’s mobile payment market in Q1 2017.
Like WeChat’s system, Alipay’s instant apps will make it easier for more services to join the app’s ecosystem. Already, the app has services embedded inside its dashboard, such as car rentals. Mini programs could make it easier for more companies and products to become part of Alipay without bogging down the app with more icons and menus.
Though Alibaba’s mobile wallet app lacks the sticky social component of WeChat, it does offer a wider range of more developed financial products. Its money market fund Yu’e Bao has accumulated about 325 million Chinese users since launching in 2013. Tencent is beta testing its own version called Lingqiantong, which lets users earn interest from their WeChat Pay balance.
Alipay mini program developers will be able to tap into Sesame Credit, Ant Financial’s credit rating system. Already, there are a multitude of credit-based services inside Alipay, such as deposit-free bike rentals and a virtual credit card. Through Alipay’s mini programs, more services could waive deposits – especially in the hospitality industry – or offer new credit-based products.
Tencent is also testing its own credit system, which takes into account social connections, consumption behavior, security, wealth, and compliance, according to Chinese media reports.

8/17/2018

Sneak peek to WeChat Pay Malaysia: How to enable, top-up, withdraw balance?

Sneak peek to WeChat Pay Malaysia: How to enable, top-up, withdraw balance? - ecinsider.my


Did you know that Malaysia is the first overseas launch for WeChat Pay? Find out more on how to activate WeChat Pay and use it to make payments

The talk of the town is that WeChat Pay is finally launching in Malaysia this month. Without any official announcement, the local wallet in MYR has been quietly made available to Malaysia.

It seems like this has been rolled out to some local WeChat users (not all according to our check), could it be in beta mode? You can try it out yourself by following steps below.
WeChat Pay in Malaysia

Introduction to WeChat Pay


Before that, let's start with a quick introduction to WeChat Pay, especially for those who aren't familiar with China and WeChat.

If you have ever been to China in recent years, you get to experience the cashless society with WeChat Pay and Alipay being the duopoly there.

However, it is not easily available to foreigners, as you need a local China bank account to top-up your WeChat Pay balance.

A quick trick is to get your friend with Renminbi balance to transfer some funds to you and voila! You can then use it to pay everywhere you want, ranging from hawker stalls, kiosks, mom and pop stores, retail outlets to many more.

Just watch the video below on our own WeChat Pay experience in China earlier this year.

Malaysia is the first overseas launch for WeChat Pay


You might be wondering why Malaysia? First of all, did you know that Malaysia has the second largest overseas Chinese population in the world after Thailand?

If we are to consider Chinese population which is closer to China in terms of language and culture, Malaysia easily has the most in the world out of China.

Tencent (the parent company of WeChat) has also claimed that there are 20 million WeChat users in Malaysia,according to S.Y. Lau, Senior Vice President of Tencent.

Therefore, it makes perfect sense for Tencent to launch WeChat Pay first in Malaysia.

By looking at the timing of its imminent launch here, we wouldn't be surprised if they replicate the WeChat red packet a.k.a. hongbao (微信红包) formula here for Hari Raya - green packet perhaps? It was one of the key stimulators of cashless society in China back then.

Without further delay, let's find out how it works here!

How to enable WeChat Pay in Malaysia?


Just follow the step-by-step guide below, especially if you already have RMB balance in your WeChat wallet. Bear in mind that, this is not made available to every WeChat users yet according to our findings.
WeChat wallet in RMB balance
If you have RMB balance (China Region )

WeChat Pay: other regions enabled
You will be prompted with "other regions enabled"

WeChat Pay: switch wallet region
Select "Switch Wallet Region"

WeChat Pay: select wallet region
Select Malaysia as your new region

WeChat Pay Malaysia is activated!
WeChat Pay Malaysia (with RM) is activated!

How to top up WeChat balance in Malaysia?


From our test and findings, it seems that we can only top up with a debit card now, other top-up methods are not available yet at the time of writing.
WeChat Pay Malaysia balance
You need to top up WeChat balance first

WeChat Pay: top up balance using debit card
You can only top up using a debit card now

WeChat Pay: set 6 digits authentication PIN
Set 6-digits payment PIN (it's like your password)

WeChat Pay: Debit card authorization
RM0.01 will be charged to your debit card

WeChat Pay: debit card added / linked
Your debit card is now added / linked

WeChat Pay: top up balance
The top-up limit is RM1,500 for unverified users

WeChat Pay: top up successful
RM10 top up successfully via Maybank Debit Card

What is WeChat Quick Pay?


If you haven't realized, China is a "QR code country" in which we haven't seen similar adaption here yet. Quick Pay is one of the QR code features of WeChat, to enable merchants to scan your QR code on transactions.

From our experience in China, it is usually the larger merchants or retailers who scan your QR code with a scanner that linked to their POS system. It is the other way round for smaller merchants - you scan their QR code instead.
WeChat Pay: enable Quick Pay
Enable Quick Pay on WeChat Pay

This QR is dynamic (refresh every minute for security purpose)

How to withdraw your WeChat Pay balance in Malaysia?


Unlike the controversy of our very own Touch 'n Go, it is a pleasant surprise to find out that we can withdraw WeChat Pay balance here without much fuss, ironically even before its official launch!

We tested balance withdrawal to a Maybank account and it works, you can withdraw your WeChat balance to 29 banks at the time of writing.
WeChat Pay: withdraw balance to Maybank
We tested RM1 withdrawal and it works!

WeChat Pay: withdraw instructions
Withdrawal limits of WeChat Pay in Malaysia

Which merchants accept WeChat Pay in Malaysia now?


We are not expecting many merchant partners before the official rollout, but you can top up your mobile prepaid via WeChat Pay at the moment.

Surprisingly, you can also buy bus tickets via WeChat Pay and select the seats within the app too, this is something cool!
WeChat Pay: pay for mobile prepaid top-up
You can use WeChat Pay to top up mobile prepaid

WeChat Pay: pay for bus ticket
You can buy bus tickets too!

WeChat Pay: select seats within the app
You can select bus seats within the app, wow!

What about you? Have you tested it out? Do share with us your experience and feedback in the comment box below.

Don't forget to watch our WeChat Pay experience in China, we used it to pay food stall, fashion merchant, vending machine, and retail store. Are we expecting the same will happen here in Malaysia? Time will tell
http://www.ecinsider.my/2018/06/wechat-pay-malaysia-review.html

Website:https://klse.i3investor.com/blogs/kianweiaritcles/159760.jsp 

8/03/2018

I tried to survive an entire day using WeChat to pay for stuff. Here’s how it went

I tried to survive an entire day using WeChat to pay for stuff. Here’s how it went

I tried to survive an entire day using WeChat to pay for stuff. Here’s how it went
“I’m going to take some cash. I’ll probably need it,” I say, as I prepare to leave the house. The cat
yawns in response. I yawn. Are cat yawns contagious, like human ones?
I need some coffee.
So that’s going to be my first stop as I try to get through an entire day using only WeChat to pay for stuff. I don’t have a lot of confidence that it’ll work as planned, which is why I stuff some money and a bank card into my pocket as I always do. Even though the hugely popular messaging app has 600 million active users at the last count and is made by Tencent, one of China’s top web giants, I’ve not seen many people using WeChat in stores to pay for stuff. I’ve noticed a bunch of retail chains have WeChat Payment or Alipay stickers by the counter, but it’s far from widespread.
I tried to survive an entire day using WeChat to pay for stuff. Here’s how it went
So today I’ll try to use WeChat’s cashless mobile payments as much as I can throughout the day. If it’s not available at a store, I’ll opt for Alipay, Alibaba’s mobile wallet app. Failing both, I’ll go find a different shop or just pay up in cash.
I head out.

10:45am: Parking on the street

Cost: RMB 5 (US$0.80)

WeChat win? Nope

Just as I’m finishing reversing into the spot, an elderly parking attendant appears out of nowhere at the driver-side window. Dao. Dao. Dao. Ting! I smile and give him a nod as if I were listening to his advice. I’m not sure if China has parking meters – I’ve never seen any. This chap does the job.
I decide that now’s a bad time to start my mobile payments experiment and hand over a five renminbi note, which he pockets with a xie xie and then ambles off so quickly that I’m not sure where he went. You’re supposed to be given a receipt; I saw him holding a wad of them. He’ll probably pocket that money, I think to myself. That’s another argument in favor of cashless payments – stopping civic funds vanishing into the ether.

11am: Coffee

Cost: RMB 26 (US$4.10)

WeChat win? Nope

Coffee. Coffee. Coffee. I walk briskly past Starbucks. I’m not a Starbucks-snubbing hipster – I just know the chain doesn’t take in-store mobile payments in China even though it has all the equipment there. The server can scan the QR code from my Starbucks app for loyalty points and send the information online, so the company can surely accept WeChat or Alipay because they use exactly the same procedure. Probably some corporate bureaucracy holding it up.
I tried to survive an entire day using WeChat to pay for stuff. Here’s how it went
A block further on, I reach Costa Coffee. There’s a plastic Alipay logo stuck to the counter. Can I pay with WeChat, I ask? I cannot. So I launch the Alipay app and hit the “Pay” icon. A QR code pops up, which the barista scans quickly and the payment is done in a beat. Far quicker than paying with a credit card. Faster even than handing over the right change. She tells me that Costa added Alipay as an option just a few weeks ago.
When my phone is handed back to me I notice I was only charged RMB 26 (US$4.10) instead of the usual RMB 31 (US$4.90) for my medium cappuccino. The app screen shows me I got an “Alipay discount” for no discernable reason other than that I used the app.
I tried to survive an entire day using WeChat to pay for stuff. Here’s how it went
The Alipay app encourages me to rate that branch of Costa, so I give it five stars. Then it demands I snap a photo, so I do that and press “send.” I’ve just been tricked by Alibaba into creating Yelp-style content. I guess the discount buttered me up.

1:40pm: Lunch

Cost: RMB 33 (US$5.20)

WeChat win? Nope

I’ve already picked out my order when I remember to ask if I can pay using WeChat. I’m told I cannot – nor Alipay.
But I could use Dianping, the Mosburger lady tells me. That’s a reference to the daily deals site that Tencent, the maker of WeChat, has invested in. That entails me buying a Dianping deal. More specifically, a discounted coupon.
To find it, I dig through the “Group Buy” section inside the “Wallet” part of WeChat. The location-based thingy inside the food part of the Dianping web app embedded in WeChat shows me that the nearest deal to me is in Mosburger. So it knows where I am.
I find a Mosburger coupon worth RMB 30 (US$4.70) that I can get for RMB 25 (US$4). If I spend more, I’ll have to make up for it in cash, or if I spend less I won’t get any change back. I can pay for the Dianping voucher using WeChat Pay.
There’s no queue behind me, but I’m feeling frustrated at this point.
I tried to survive an entire day using WeChat to pay for stuff. Here’s how it went
I decide this is too much hassle and it still involves me using a bit of cash, so I shove my phone in my left pocket and pull out some cash from the other.
It’s not going well for WeChat so far.

2:20pm: Refreshments

Cost: RMB 6.9 (US$1.10)

WeChat win? Yes. Finally!

I avoided the sodas in Mosburger, so now I need a drink. The nearest convenience store is FamilyMart – which, super conveniently, does take WeChat Payment. I know that because I’ve used it before. If anyone at Tencent is spying on my WeChat spending habits, they’ll know I buy a lot of Kirin and Asahi at FamilyMart.
I tried to survive an entire day using WeChat to pay for stuff. Here’s how it went
A sign near the cashier’s desk, partially tucked behind a Durex vibrator, shows that the store accepts both Alipay and WeChat Payment. The Durex display shelf is at child’s eye level. The woman serving customers notices me snapping a few photos. I wonder if she thinks I’m taking a photo of the abundant array of condoms, lubes, and vibrators.
I need an orange juice to wash away the saltiness of the Mosburger fries, so I grab one from the fridge. Shuffling up to the counter, I launch WeChat, go to the Wallet section, and hit “Quick Pay”; the cashier is already poised with the scanner. Finally… WeChat Pay makes itself useful for the first time today.
I kinda hope she now realizes I was taking a photo of the sign, not the vibrator.
I tried to survive an entire day using WeChat to pay for stuff. Here’s how it went
I’ve had discounts in the past when paying with WeChat at several chains of stores, but this time there was none.

2:40pm: Socks

Cost: RMB 51.6 (US$8.10)

WeChat win? Yup

I spot a Uniqlo and wonder if it’s too late in the year to grab a few summery essentials. It’s still 25’C in late October. As I look for the men’s section, I spot the WeChat Payment logo on a few notices scattered around the store saying that a discount as high as RMB 200 (US$31.50) is available if you pay using the messaging app. In the corner of the notice is a QR code to follow Uniqlo’s WeChat brand account.
I tried to survive an entire day using WeChat to pay for stuff. Here’s how it went
After picking out three pairs of short summer socks, I look around for plain T-shirts, but it’s all fleeces and jackets. At the counter, the clerks are all wearing Halloween hats. When did Halloween become a thing in China? There’s a sign by the counter that’s similar to the FamilyMart one.
I tried to survive an entire day using WeChat to pay for stuff. Here’s how it went
The girl in the witch’s hat tells me that’s RMB 59 (US$9.30), but it turns out to be just RMB 51.6 (US$8.10) when I look at the screen after the payment is completed.
I’m enjoying the discounts.

3pm: A few things for dinner

Cost: RMB 141 (US$22.20)

WeChat win? Nope

A quick web search reveals that several major supermarket chains in China take mobile payments, such as Walmart, Carrefour, and Lianhua. But those are not in my area. The place I usually go to for my weekly shop, Sam’s Club, hasn’t added support.
Right now, I only need a handful of fresh things, so I head to my usual deli-cum-imported-goods-store for stuff like mozzarella and fresh yoghurt. And vodka.
Unsurprisingly, no WeChat Pay or Alipay signs around. I pay in cash. You might have more luck with m-payments at such small stores in Shanghai or Beijing.

3:10pm: Vegetables

Cost: RMB 13.2 (US$2.10)

WeChat win? Nope

There’s also no chance of anything but cash at the local ‘wet’ market. The stalls don’t even take cards.
I walk out with a cluster of small change in my back pocket, including eight one-jiao coins that I’ll later throw onto a little tray in a drawer at home, where they’ll stay for years with hundreds more of them until I remember to use them up in some way. One of those coins is worth 2 US cents.

3:55pm: Gas station

Cost: RMB 200 (US$31.50)

WeChat win? Nope

A while later, I pull into a Total gas station for the usual fill-up. You can pay in cash by handing it to the attendant or you can walk into the store to pay with a card. Those are the only two options – as 20th-century as gas-guzzlers themselves.

4:50pm: Water

Cost: RMB 16 (US$2.50)

WeChat win? Yes

Back at home, I realise the 18-liter purified water bottle is empty and needs to be changed. I open WeChat, find the brand account of my water supplier, and with just one click I’ve ordered a delivery of a new bottle.
I tried to survive an entire day using WeChat to pay for stuff. Here’s how it went
OK, this is cheating a little as I paid for a fistful of vouchers for the water months ago (in cash), so I’m not actually paying for this through WeChat. But this method of ordering is great because it replaces the previous phone call to the water company hotline. Less human interaction = a win in my book. Besides, now I know that I can buy the vouchers inside WeChat, I’ll do that next time I need more.

5:25pm: Topping up my phone

Cost: RMB 198.5 (US$31.30)

WeChat win? Yup

WeChat can be used for a ton of stuff. Booking a cab though Didi Kuaidi and then paying for it cashlessly; paying utility bills; transferring money to friends; paying off the credit card you’ve linked to your WeChat account; buying rail and train tickets; donating to charity; and saving money in Tencent’s personal wealth fund. Plus, you can top up your mobile credit.
I click that option, then click an amount, and then press my thumb to my iPhone’s home button – and the payment is done. It takes about 10 seconds to do the whole thing.
I tried to survive an entire day using WeChat to pay for stuff. Here’s how it went
WeChat is already tied to my phone number, so there’s nothing to input. It sure beats using my telco’s clunky website.
I opt for a RMB 200 (US$31.50) top-up and get a minuscule discount on it.

My day of obedient, mindless consumerism is at an end. The experiment yielded four successful payments using WeChat out of 10 transactions. Add in one paid for using Alipay, and half of the stuff I had to cough up for was handled with quick-as-a-flash m-payments.
That’s not too bad. But considering how powerful Tencent and Alibaba are, with hundreds of millions of users each day on their core products, it’s noticeable that the tech giants haven’t invaded offline retail as much as you’d expect.
I tried to survive an entire day using WeChat to pay for stuff. Here’s how it went
Alibaba’s Alipay is a mobile wallet app, so it’s more focused on payments than WeChat
If Tencent and Alibaba are struggling like this, then an outsider like Apple will face a monumental challenge with Apple Pay once it finally arrives in the country. Alipay started in-store payments back in July 2011, while WeChat’s more recent push into ecommerce expanded to retail outlets in September last year.
On the plus side, the tech worked flawlessly each time, and store employees were knowledgeable about what to do.
Could someone in China use mobile payments for everything? Only if they go to stores they don’t usually frequent in areas they usually don’t visit. That’s not what I call convenient. But the shift away from a cash-is-king society is well under way.
Website: https://www.techinasia.com/day-with-wechat-payments-in-stores