New Delhi:- Good news for those traveling to China! You can finally enjoy the seamless cashless payment experience you've been hearing about for years, avoiding the awkward exchanges of asking local friends to pay or handing you banknotes that you have nowhere to spend.
This week, WeChat Pay and Alipay, China's two largest mobile payment solutions, announced that foreign users can now pay at Chinese retailers by linking foreign credit cards such as Visa, Mastercard and Discover.
Previously, using his WeChat Pay and Alipay in China required a local bank account, making it difficult for short-term visitors to use these payment methods. Payments have become easier for Chinese people, but finding places to use cash is now a problem for foreign tourists as the two payment giants have largely replaced cash in big cities and villages, despite government attempts to warn merchants not to refuse cash.
This development therefore represents a significant improvement in the experience of foreign travellers in China. With Alipay and WeChat Pay literally ubiquitous in both online and offline retail in China, foreign travellers may now be able to hail a Didi car, ride the subway, rent a shared bike, buy fruit from a grocery store, order grocery delivery, and even purchase a myriad of Chinese e-commerce products online.
The WeChat announcement provides helpful details on what the setup looks like. For a foreign user to activate her WeChat wallet, she must upload her passport to verify her identity. You can receive verification codes using foreign phone numbers.
Unfortunately, visitors will not be able to try out the Chinese digitized red envelope custom of sending and receiving a digital version of an auspicious red envelope containing money. This feature was originally the trigger for the first wave of WeChat mass adoption. Visitors can't even send money, which isn't surprising given China's tight controls on cross-border capital flows.
On WeChat, the per-transaction, monthly and annual spending limits for foreign visitors are 6,000 yuan (approximately US$835), 50,000 yuan, and 60,000 yuan, respectively. For payments under RMB 200 (approximately US$28), transaction fees are free, but for amounts above that, she charges a €3.00 fee. The exchange rate depends on the card organization and the issuing bank's rate.
The payment giant had previously planned to integrate with international bank cards, but it never materialized. Hopefully formal permits and infrastructure will be available this time. I'll try it locally and report back.
China has made the travellers to take a breath of relief as they have come with a new innovation of the cashless transaction for outsiders specially. The WeChat Pay and the AliPay have made a huge upgradation of the cashless transaction for all that will make the travellers more efficient of payment.