WeChat pay is a payment solution completely integrated inside the social and messaging application of Tencent: WeChat. It appears in the “WeChat Wallet” section of the application.
The function was popularized by Tencent when enabling Chinese users to exchange money via digital red envelopes, a tradition during the Chinese New Year festival.
Living in China without WeChat Pay or Alipay is like living without cash or credit card. Only 10% of users prefer to pay via credit card or cash over WeChat Pay or Alipay and cash rejection is a common situation in China.
Through the wallet section and the integrated browser of WeChat, users can perform a variety of transactions using WeChat Pay, including and not limited to:
Wechat Pay for companies
Personal WeChat payment is only used for peer-to-peer transactions. It cannot be connected with a company.
Company WeChat Pay account will settle the payment in a company’s bank account. The most common way you can use a company’s payment account is to connect it with your website, Apps or your WeChat shop.
At this moment there are the followin 6 scenarios where WeChat Pay can be used:
Chinese users show their payment code in WeChat Pay to the cashier, which the cashier scans to complete the payment within 1-2 seconds without the need for any cash or password, increasing efficiency and avoiding cashier errors.
Quick Pay is suitable for in-person payment collection in physical stores such as department stores, convenience stores, restaurants, hospitals, schools, cinemas, tourist attractions and other physical places that have clear business addresses.
QR code payment
Merchants generate their own individual payment collection QR code. Users open WeChat to scan the code, confirm the amount, and make the payment after passing the security checks.
This product is designed for merchants without code scanners or other cash registers that can be used to collect money. It can be used in both physical stores and online websites. Merchants have their own fixed payment collection codes. After a user uses WeChat to scan the code, the amount is entered and the payment is completed. Payment collection codes can also incorporate order information to generate a unique QR code for one particular order. The user does not need to enter the amount after scanning the code, and the payment can be made after the security checks are passed.
Users pay for goods or services in Mini Programs created inside WeChat.
Mini Programs are especially suitable for diverting users from offline stores to online shopping. This breaks down geographical barriers and encourages users to make repeat purchases.
Merchants accept payments in a Mini Program by calling the WeChat Mini Program payment API. WeChat users open the merchant’s Mini Program, place an order, enter their payment password to complete the payment, and then return to the merchant’s Mini Program.
Official Account Payment
Merchants can communicate with users on WeChat through Official Accounts. Once a merchant has opened an Official Account and enabled the payment feature, users can pay for goods and services inside the Official Account.
An Official Account is a tool for managing and understanding fans. Merchants can regularly promote their brands and services through their Official Accounts to encourage users to spend money in their physical or online stores.
Users make purchases in merchant apps using WeChat Pay.
Merchants with an app with a large number of Chinese users are recommended to integrate WeChat Pay into their app. Once integrated, WeChat users can easily complete transactions using WeChat Pay through the merchant’s app. On the merchant side, an open SDK integrated into the mobile app calls the WeChat Pay module to complete transactions.
Users use WeChat’s “Scan” feature to scan a payment code generated by a merchant on a web page to make a payment.
“Web payments allows order information to be embedded in a unique QR code. By scanning the code in WeChat, users complete the payment after passing the security checks.
Merchants with a website with a large number of Chinese users are recommended to integrate WeChat Pay into the website.”
There are two ways to apply for a WeChat Pay account:
Option 1: Local WeChat Pay account connected to your Chinese company’s bank account
For companies registered in China, you can register a Wechat Pay Account directly but it is advisable to register a Wechat Official Account (Service Account) first. This is the link to register your WeChat Official account:
Prepare in advance the following documents that will be needed for registration:
After the verification process, you can apply to Wechat Pay directly from your Official Account. The process of verification is very similar.
The official Tencent commission is about 0.6% on transactions made through WeChat payment in China. It can be different according to the products/services offered by the merchant.
Option 2: WeChat cross-border payment account (connects to an overseas bank account)
For overseas business, you can setup WeChat cross-border payment account. This account will let your customers to pay in RMB using WeChat Pay, and the payment will be able to settle in your overseas bank account.
WeChat cross-border payment supports the following currencies: USD, HKD, JPY, THB, EUR, GBP, CAD, KRW, AUD, SGD, NZD, RUB, CHF, SEK, DKK, NOK (updated on March 2020). If your currency is not on the list, you can open a multi-currency bank account to accept payments.
How to apply for WeChat cross-border payment account?
You will have two options to create a WeChat Cross-border Payment account.
OPTION 1: SETUP VIA PAYMENT AGENT
This is the easiest and most popular way to apply for a Wechat Pay Account for overseas Companies. You can apply through a Wechat Pay certified payment agency. These agencies help you transfer payments overseas and settle in your own currency.
WHICH AGENCY SHOULD I WORK WITH?
Depending on the country, you will have different agencies to choose from. Here is a list of certified agency dictionary.
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you need further advice on picking the right WeChat Payment partner.
Note: When you create a payment account via an agency, the payment will go through the agency’s account. Make sure the agency is Tencent certified. If you are not sure, you can contact Out1n (email@example.com) to understand your options.
OPTION 2: SETUP VIA PAYMENT DIRECTLY WITH WECHAT
You can directly go to Tencent to apply for a WeChat cross-border payment account. We recommend this option to larger corporations.
Companies from Hong Kong (China) and the UK can integrate WeChat Pay directly and it is recommended, and you can apply for WeChat Pay directly via this link.
For the brands from other countries, here are the pros and cons of setting up a direct WeChat Pay account:
Note that the application requests your “Official Account APPID” which is a unique identifier for a WeChat Official Account. If you are unsure how to create an Official Account for your oversea business, feel free to reach out to us.
In terms of fees being charges, there are two main constraints set by Tencent:
These are very similar to the terms from Alipay vs. WeChat Payment (cross-border payment). You can see a detailed comparison in the table below.
Wechat Pay for users:
What will you need?
– 1: Enter the cards section inside the Wechat Pay Wallet
Go to your WeChat and click on Me/Wechat Pay/Wallet/Cards. This will take you to a section to add a bank card.
Some people cannot see the Wechat Pay section. If that is your case there are 2 tricks to solve the problem: either change your WeChat language to Chinese to unlock the option, or let someone send you a Red Packet and click on it.
– 2: Add your bank card
Now you can add a Chinese or foreign credit card to link to your WeChat Wallet. Foreign credit cards are limited to purchases and cannot be used for sending money to other WeChat users.
The cardholder name must be exactly as registered in your bank. For foreigners that usually means Surname + Name and most likely in capital letters.
Bind your phone, and voila: You successfully linked your bank card with WeChat!