HONG KONG–WeChat Pay today unveils its latest strategy for cross-border payment business at the WeChat Pay Overseas Partner Conference 2019. Themed on ‘One for Billion’, the conference encourages service providers and merchants across the world to expand their businesses by reaching out and engaging the Chinese travelers through WeChat ecosystem. Close to 1,600 guests including representatives from global merchants and outstanding service providers from China and overseas, gathered in Hong Kong to explore the new opportunities with WeChat Pay’s smart ecosystem.
“In the past five years, the progress of mobile payment technology development in China has received global attention, and the digitization of all walks of life has continued at a rapid pace. The real driving force behind this is not just a payment tool, but also the supports of third-party service providers from the various industries. They are the true representatives of digital innovation in China,” said Li Peiku, Vice-President of WeChat Pay. The wide variety of functions available within the WeChat Ecosystem will help overseas merchants to smoothly accelerate the digitalization process, in order to better serve Chinese tourists overseas.
According to the latest data released at the conference, in 2018, the monthly average transaction volume saw an increase of 500% year-on-year, while the total transaction value increased 400%. Meanwhile, the number of service providers witnessed a year-on-year increase 300%, and the number of merchants accepting WeChat Pay increased 700%. WeChat Pay is now available in 49 markets outside of the Chinese mainland, supporting cross-border payment transactions in 16 currencies.
WeChat Pay Unveils Five Key Areas of its Cross-Border Business
Making a purchase is not only about payment. The entire experience throughout the consumer journey is important to conclude the transaction. WeChat Pay is looking closely into the overall customer experience, and exploring more smart living solutions to cover retail, F&B, and fashion, municipal services and many other aspects of daily life. At the conference, WeChat Pay unveils five key areas of its cross-border business:
> To expand its cross-border payment into more markets and to support more currencies.
> To promote smart checkout solutions and improve the shopping experience for consumers.
> To promote self-service F&B ordering solutions to ease the communication that involves different and multiple languages.
> To promote the usage of AI-based solutions in the fashion and beauty industries that enable virtual fitting and makeup testing.
> To explore more solutions in areas, such as overseas consular services, medical care, education and other social services.
WeChat Pay has successfully developed many case studies in offering smart living solutions. For example, at Heytea Hong Kong, users can order through WeChat’s Mini Programs to avoid queue and collect their orders in store when it is ready. In Japan, Fuji-Q Highland guests can purchase tickets and check queuing time via WeChat’s Mini Programs to better plan their visit for different rides and activities, ensuring a smoother visitor’s experience.
WeChat Pay is also expanding its scope in other tourism and travel-related solutions. Today, close to 20 Chinese embassies and foreign consulates around the world are offering WeChat Pay services, which means that Chinese citizens can now make payments using WeChat Pay at these embassies and consulates in emergency, for instance replacement requests of their travel documents.
With outbound travel becoming easier and an increase in personal income levels, the Chinese outbound travel market continues to expand. In 2018, more than 149 million Chinese tourists travelled abroad with a 14.7% increase on the same period for the previous year. Meanwhile, the consumption of outbound Chinese tourists exceeded US$120 billion, and per capita overseas consumption exceeded RMB 13,000.
WeChat Pay not only assists the domestic service providers in mainland China to expand overseas, but also continues to optimize its overall training system to help overseas service providers and merchants to achieve a two-way communication with the Chinese travelers for better customer experience.