China’s WeChat Introduces In-store Payments for Nine Retail Chains

Tencent backed instant messaging app, WeChat has been reportedly updated with in-store mobile payments for nine retail chains across China and the feature will be officially opened on September 15. Initially, the feature is expected to be roll out to nine vendors include DQ ice queen, NUS pharmacy, Rainbow, One Plus One, Lotus (South China), good neighbors, Baby Room, Minsheng Department Store and NUS 365.

However, as the Pingwest reports, Chinese users will identify a new “Small Payments” (shuaka, or “swipe card” in Chinese) feature inside the “Wallet” module. Whenever they click into the credit card function, there will be a two-dimensional code for scanning and barcode on the screen, respectively. In other words, after the micro-channel pay-certified merchants, sweeping through the line code scanning equipment both codes, to charge directly to the customer. 

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The newly launched feature resembles to Alibaba’s Alipay Wallet, which allows users to pay for in-store goods by generating QR codes, bar codes, and sound waves. Moreover, as per a TechinAsia report, Alibaba’s Alipay Wallet likely generates more gross merchandise volume because of its tie in with Alibaba’s long-standing escrow service, Tencent’s WeChat Payments got a huge boost in registrations thanks to a gifting campaign that went viral over Chinese New Year. 

Tencent’s recent USD 814 million joint venture with Baidu and Wanda Group confirms that is is planning to bring mobile payments to the masses.

Apart from this, last year, WeChat has just gone through a fresh update for iOS platform, a new 5.0 update brought several interesting features like mobile payments, a game center and a sticker store. WeChat is known as Weixin in china.

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Globally WeChat competes with other instant messaging app like Whatsapp, BBM, but in addition to these it will be facing competition from Nimbuzz, Hike, KakaoTalk, Viber, GupShup, as well in Indian market.

Started in January 2011, WeChat’s services are same as other mobile social networking apps, but there are few features which makes it unique in respect of others. Such as its, Hold-To-Talk feature which allows to send voice messages with the touch of a button.

Tencent is continuously marketing WeChat via Tv and online marketing ads. It is also marketing aggressively on games site Ibibo, in which Tencent holds a stake.

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