Can Foreigners Use Wechat Pay in China?

Can Foreigners Use Wechat Pay in China?

Are you planning on traveling or living abroad in China and wondered “can foreigners use WeChat pay in China?” The short answer is yes, foreigners are allowed to use the WeChat pay service while in China to pay for goods or send money to friends. You will however need to either have a Chinese bank account, or add a foreign credit card to your account (recently introduced). For most foreigners its still a new concept but for Chinese native its one of the biggest financial payments system that makes everything easier and efficient.

wechat pay for tourists

Why You Need WeChat Pay in China

China is one of the destination hot spots for many tourists, and for most tourists/foreigners you can find its payments systems quite hectic as it’s setup for for a local Chinese person to understand. Before the introduction of the mobile payment system, most foreigners were at a loss of what to do when it came to paying for things in China without cash.

In today’s modern China, mobile payment has tremendously grown, and it’s actively used by millions of Chinese as well as a foreigner more than cash, especially in big cities all across this vast country.

Mobile payment platforms such as WeChat (weixin, 微信)  have transformed the country into a cashless society that is usually transacted through your mobile phone. Now you can comfortably enjoy your holiday without worrying too much as making payments will seem like a piece of cake.

In this post, we will delve a little bit deeper on everything WeChat and how foreigners can capitalize on the mobile payment to make their stay here enjoyable and hassle-free.

How to Get Started Using WeChat Pay Account

As a foreigner setting up a WeChat account is a simple and straightforward process that only comprises of a few steps. To begin using the WeChat app while there, you first need to download the app and link your bank account with the WeChat Wallet.

One important thing to note is you need to have a credit card from your home bank or have a Chinese bank account. In the past, only Chinese credit cards were accepted, but now foreigners can use their debit and international cards.

To set up your account as a visitor, here are a few simple steps that you need to follow:

  • Open the app and select my option, after choosing tap on the ‘wallet’ option
  • Tap on the bank card option
  • Select add card
  • Key in your card number after the prompt
  • After entering your card number and your data, you’ll receive a confirmation code via SMS. Copy and key in that code after the prompt.
  • After entering the code, you’ll be required to create a payment password that will enable you to authorize and approve payments.
  • Accept all the terms and conditions, and you can enjoy using WeChat pay.

WeChat Pay Foreign Credit Card

For tourists who want to use their international cards while in China, you’ll be required to add security code and billing information on the back of your card. For further safety and protection, you’ll also be requested to verify your card number.

P.S. Always remember that some card charges foreign transactional fees that can account up to 2% of your overall purchasing price of the products and services.

Wechat Wallet Without Chinese Bank Card

For tourists, if you know someone, they can send you funds to your WeChat wallet that can be instantaneously used where WeChat payments are accepted. In most occasions, most tourists don’t know anyone, and you’ll need to credit funds on your WeChat wallet before you depart that’s more convenient and easier.

Well, if you do not have friends or acquaintances, there are verified websites online that will recharge your mobile wallet at a fee, but one thing is for sure be ready for ridiculous exchange rates that can range anywhere between 6-10% more than the Forex exchange rate.

What is WeChat Wallet?

WeChat is a digital wallet service that allows users to send money and make mobile payments; it’s a popular app that is used across China if you have a balance on your mobile wallet enabling you to pay merchants, businesses and virtually anyone in China in a simple but efficient method.

You can also scan the QR code of the receipts using your phone and make payments. WeChat has surpassed the use of credit cards due to its easier availability and swift mode of payment.

WeChat Pay For Tourists

For tourists, WeChat is the most convenient of making electronic payments using their mobile phones. The mobile payment has replaced the traditional paper currency making it easier to settle bills, send cash and buying products while in the country.

So where can foreigners use wechat pay in China? Everywhere from restaurants, shopping malls, street vendors, a cup of coffee, and even paying your friends or splitting the bill. For tourists when you make a purchase, there is an automatic conversion of your currency to CNY (and vice-versa for tourists). After the confirmation of deal by the buyer, funds are deducted from your account.

WeChat is very beneficial to tourists as it supports plenty of major currencies, and all vendors in China accept it. For tourists who their home currencies are not supported, they can conduct transactions is U.S Dollars.

Accepted Payment Methods

Users of the app have access to plenty of payment methods; the versatility of the app is what makes it more popular among tourists traveling in China or expats who live in China. Here are some of the following payment modes that are accepted through the app:

  • QR Code Scan (Quick Pay)- It allows vendors or merchants to scan the QR codes on their client’s codes.
  • QR Code Payment – In China, vendors have different QR codes for various products/services, after scanning of the QR code, the user will have the option of buying the product via the WeChat app.
  • In-app Web Payments- Tourists can purchase products and services offered by online vendors/retailers
  • In-app Payment – Modern mobile phones can integrate the WeChat app with other smartphone applications; if you wish to make a purchase and pay through another app, user can grant permissions to WeChat to complete the transaction.

Final Word

As at now, it’s not known whether WeChat Pay will be more accessible to foreigners, but the signs are promising as there are more third-party partnerships in talks with Tencent to allow cross-border payments. WeChat is one of the most convenient and affordable ways for accepting and making payment, the app is a fairly easy process to set-up for foreigners making your stay in China enjoyable and unforgettable.

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