WeChat Pay Duplicates Domestic Lifestyle Overseas Where Over 90% Chinese Still Prefer Mobile Payment

WeChat Pay Duplicates Domestic Lifestyle Overseas Where Over 90% Chinese Still Prefer Mobile Payment

by March 1, 2018

Grace Yin

Grace Yin

“As mobile payment is increasingly welcomed by mainland Chinese outbound tourists, WeChat Pay plans to constantly invest in its cross-border business, with the aim of duplicating the domestic WeChat lifestyle overseas,”

Grace Yin, WeChat Pay Director for Overseas Operation today commented on the latest white paper issued by Nielsen, a global leading information and measurement company.

The white paper named “Outbound Chinese Tourism and Consumption Trend: 2017 Survey” found that over 90% Chinese tourists would use mobile payment overseas given the option. 83% of Chinese tourists would ask whether or not the local merchants support mobile payment while abroad; only 17% of Chinese tourists would not ask.

Some Chinese respondents even expressed that when paying overseas, they will subconsciously take out the cell phone, and open the mobile payment page, according to the white paper.

According to the Nielsen survey, Chinese tourists expressed “convenience and speed, and familiarity” (64%) as the primary reason for using mobile payment while abroad. Among other reasons, respondents also chose “feeling proud of Chinese mobile payment brands” (48%), “favorable exchange rate” (43%) and “discounts or promotions” (36%) for choosing mobile payment as the method of payment.

The younger generations used mobile payment more frequently: for the post-90s generation, 3.3 out of 10 payments were via mobile; but for the post-70s generation, 2.3 were via mobile.

What the most overseas merchants lack is not a payment tool, according to WeChat Pay, who said existing payment method would suffice in terms of handling transaction.

“What local merchants really need is social interaction, a lasting communication channel to connect with the shoppers which allows future promotion and communication.”

wechat payThe cross-border payment solution offered by WeChat Pay helps merchants across the world draw Chinese travelers into their shops and serve as a lasting link to its 800 million users.

Chinese tourists can make payment to the merchants in Chinese yuan, while enabling the merchants to receive the payment in their local currency, saving them the trouble of exchanging currencies and saddling the shopper with small-denomination banknotes and coins in an unfamiliar currency.

Even after they leave the shop, shoppers can still get promotion and after-sales service through WeChat.

As one of the most frequently used apps in China, WeChat is most likely to be the first app to open when travelers land the destination.

“Over 70% of the mobile internet traffic consumed by the Chinese traveler in Korea was consumed on WeChat,”

WeChat Pay quoted its Korean partner as saying.

Through serving Chinese outbound tourists, WeChat Pay has established partnerships with an ever-growing number of overseas merchants with the ability to handle transactions in 13 different currencies in 25 countries and regions.

Matthew Brennan

Matthew Brennan


“When travelling abroad mainland Chinese are increasingly on the lookout for places that accept WeChat Pay. It’s a sign that Chinese are welcome and it’s a preferred payment option of ease for Chinese consumers,”

said Matthew Brennan, tech analyst and founder of China Channel (ChCh).



According to the 2017 MOBILE PAYMENT USAGE IN CHINA REPORT, an earlier report issued by Tencent Research Institute, The Chongyang Institute for Financial Studies at Renmin University of China (RDCY), and Ipsos, in China, 74% people stated that they can live for more than a month with only 100 RMB in cash, while 84% people reported that they could accept a totally cashless life.

Two key events that significantly moved Chinese society towards a smart lifestyle are both related to WeChat. One is the WeChat Red Packet, where WeChat capitalized on China’s tradition of gifting cash-filled red packets, while the other is its cooperation the ride-hailing app DiDi which revolutionized how people commute in China.

Social interaction has always been the driving force behind payments on WeChat, and it is globalizing with WeChat Pay expand overseas.


 Featured image via Wechat