With 1.2 billion active users, WeChat is China’s biggest mobile app and plays an important role in everyday life in China — even when it comes to payment.
Its payment service, WeChat Pay, is used by around 900 million users a month and is one of the most popular ways to pay in China’s predominantly cashless society.
Want to offer your Chinese customers a familiar, trusted, and easy payment method?
WeChat Pay is the answer.
But how can foreign businesses set up WeChat Pay outside China?
And what are the main benefits of accepting WeChat Payment?
Let’s break it down.
But first, what is WeChat Pay?
WeChat Pay is an integrated mobile payment method available to WeChat users. Every WeChat user in (or from) Mainland China can use WeChat Pay to:
- Transfer money to friends
- Pay businesses (both in-person and online)
- Top-up their mobile phone balance
- Pay for utility bills
- Book accommodation
- Online payments and so much more…
It really is the primary way to pay for products and services in China — and the statistics certainly back that up. It works as a WeChat wallet for the users.
What businesses should offer WeChat Pay?
If you want to attract Chinese customers, offering WeChat Pay is a no-brainer — no matter what industry you’re in. It’ll give them an easy and trusted way to pay, which could give your Chinese sales the boost you’re looking for.
Mobile-first businesses, like e-commerce apps, will especially benefit from offering WeChat Pay, since it’s accessed via mobile. And if your business already has a following on WeChat App, WeChat Pay will allow you to monetize that following very effectively.
WeChat Pay is even a good choice if your customer base isn’t Chinese but frequently travels to China, as it allows foreign visitors to pay via their domestic credit cards. Chinese tourists can also use WeChat Pay when they’re outside of China, too.
Ultimately, if a large chunk of your customer base is Chinese or located in China, no matter what bank account they have or where they live, you’ll be able to create a good customer experience for them by offering WeChat Payment.
Follow the links below for case studies of WeChat Payment being used in a wide range of industries:
From which countries can you implement WeChat Pay?
WeChat Pay can manage 13 different currencies, in 25 countries and regions.
In other words, it’s a truly global payment provider and can be offered by businesses across the world.
Countries, where WeChat Pay payments can be implemented, include:
- Hong Kong
- South Africa
- And more
Get in touch with us if you’d like to know if your business could offer WeChat Pay as a payment method to Chinese users.
How to set up WeChat Pay outside China for international businesses — a step-by-step guide
There are two different ways foreign businesses can register for WeChat Pay: one for those who have a Chinese bank account, and one for those who don’t.
Let’s go ahead and break both routes down.
How to set up WeChat Pay as a foreign business with a Chinese bank account (and company)
If you’re registered as a Chinese company and have a Chinese bank account, you can set up WeChat Pay by following the steps below.
First, you’ll need a WeChat Official Account
In order to set up WeChat Pay, you’ll need access to your WeChat Official Account. These are verified brand accounts on WeChat that act like Facebook pages.
If you’ve already got a WeChat Official Account, the WeChat Pay setup process is relatively straightforward — and if you don’t, you’ll need to open one.Almost all Chinese companies have their own WeChat Official accounts with WeChat Pay set-up.
Our guide on opening a WeChat Official Account as a foreign business covers everything you need to know about the registration process.
Then, log into your WeChat Official Account and activate WeChat Pay
Once you have access to an Official Account, you’ll then be able to apply for WeChat Pay by clicking on the WeChat Pay icon on the left-hand side of your dashboard.
This will then start the WeChat Pay registration process, which is very similar to the process of setting up an Official Account.
You’ll need to provide the following information:
- Company registration number
- Copy of your business license (with company stamp)
- Contact details
- Legal details
- Company bank account
- Company financial records (in terms of turnover and expected transaction volume)
WeChat will then verify and approve your WeChat Pay application, before you can start accepting WeChat payments. This can take around a week or so.
How to set up WeChat Pay as a foreign business without a Chinese bank account (or company)
If your business doesn’t have a Chinese bank account, there are two ways you can start offering WeChat Pay as a payment option.
You can partner with a domestic WeChat Pay institution
This is the route that most international businesses will need to take.
To get started, you’ll need to contact one of WeChat Pay’s official partners by following this link and entering your country into the search bar.
Get in touch with a local partner, and they’ll walk you through the application process. It’s straightforward and can be completed within a week.
You’ll need to send them the same documentation outlined above, as well as confirmation that your business meets WeChat Pay’s requirements.
Once you’ve done that, the institution will configure your WeChat Payment account and start accepting payments on your behalf. They’ll then send those payments to you, as outlined in the diagram below:
Or you can integrate directly with WeChat Pay
If you’re based in Hong Kong or the UK, you won’t need to rely on a third-party institution — you can integrate directly with WeChat Pay.
Again, this is a relatively straightforward process and involves the following steps:
- First, go to the Merchant Platform and select your country
- Then, provide the necessary information and documentation
You’ll need to send WeChat Pay the same documents we’ve covered above, including your business license, ID, and legal information.
- You’ll then be sent a contract
Sign it and return it to WeChat Pay, as requested.
- Configure your account
WeChat Pay will help you set up your account and get everything ready to go. You’ll then be able to start accepting WeChat Payments straight from WeChat.
WeChat Pay vs. AliPay — What’s The Difference Between The Two?
Before we wrap things up, it’s worth mentioning that WeChat Pay isn’t the only mobile payment app in China.
AliPay, its closest competitor, is used by almost 900 million domestic users and offers very similar features.
The most significant difference between the two is that AliPay is a standalone payment platform, whereas WeChat Pay is an extension of a social media app.
Here’s a quick break down of the differences between the two:
|Business entity||Overseas business license||Overseas business license|
|Bank requirement||Home country||Home country|
|Account set-up fee||Free||$1000|
|Transaction fee||3%||3% (or less)|
|Access||Via WeChat App||Via AliPay App|
|Users||Approx 900 million||Approx 900 million|
|Best for||WeChat users||non-WeChat users|
Check out our guide on setting up AliPay as a foreign business to find out more.
Need helping setting up WeChat Official account to accept WeChat Payments in China?
We’ve got you covered.
Our team of Chinese marketing experts can set up your WeChat accounts for you and get you up-and-running, without all the hassle.
Get in touch with us to find out more.
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You can only use WeChat Pay in the US if you have a bank account registered in China, Malaysia, South Africa or Hong Kong. This is because the WeChat wallet is linked to this bank account. This unfortunately rules it out as a payment option for most people except Chinese citizens and permanent residents.How do I register for WeChat Pay outside China? ›
WeChat Pay currently only supports overseas credit cards. You need to verify the card number, expiration date, CVN2, and American and Canadian users need to verify the billing address while binding. Then you will receive a SMS verification code on the phone number you just filled in.How do I set up WeChat wallet in USA? ›
- Steps 1: find the WeChat Wallet “Cards” section. Go to WeChat and click on Me/Wallet/Cards. ...
- Step 2: Add a bank card. Now you can add a credit or debit card to link with your WeChat Wallet. ...
- Step 3: done!
To activate the payment function on Alipay or WeChat's mobile app, you'll first need to have either a China bank account or a Chinese bank-issued credit card. And to have either of these, you'll need to be a Chinese citizen or a resident with a valid residential address in China.How can I use WeChat in USA? ›
- Download and Install WeChat. Download and install WeChat on your device from the Play store or the App store. ...
- Select “Sign Up” and Insert Your Details. After installing WeChat, launch the app and click the “sign up” button. ...
- Agree to Terms of Service. ...
- Verify WeChat Account.
WeChat is free to download! All of WeChat's core features are free to use. Should you exceed your data usage from the app, you may incur additional charges from your network provider. We encourage all of our users to connect to Wi-Fi when available.Can foreigners set up WeChat Pay? ›
Tourists are able to link their international credit cards to these mobile payment apps. Don't worry, we'll guide you step-by-step on how to set up your WeChat Pay without a China bank account or Chinese bank-issued credit card.How do I register for WeChat overseas? ›
- Step 1: Register an account on WeChat's Official Account platform. ...
- Step 2: Pick your account type. ...
- Step 3: Fill in the registration form. ...
- Step 4: Confirm account type. ...
- Step 5: Register your Official account.
- Go to ME in the bottom bar.
- Go to WALLET.
- Select CARDS.
- Add a Card.
- Enter your card number as it appears on your card.
- Enter your name exactly as it has been input by your bank. This is not the name as it appears on the card itself. ...
- Change ID Type.
- Select PASSPORT.
- 12VPN. Learn More.
- Astrill. Learn More.
- Betternet. Learn More.
- NordVPN. Learn More.
- SunVPN. Learn More.
- Trust. zone. Learn More.
- NordVPN. unblocks wechatTested Jan 2023. ...
- Surfshark. unblocks wechatTested Jan 2023. ...
- ExpressVPN. unblocks wechatTested Jan 2023. ...
- CyberGhost. unblocks wechatTested Jan 2023. ...
- IPVanish. unblocks wechatTested Jan 2023. ...
- PrivateVPN. ...
- Atlas VPN. ...
- Private Internet Access.
Start in Me, tap into Pay , tap "..." menu on the top right corner and choose Switch Wallet Region to select the specific region.What is the difference between Alipay and WeChat Pay? ›
Alipay was originally created exclusively for use on the popular online retail site, Alibaba, but can now be used anywhere that accepts Alipay as a form of payment. While WeChat initially started as an instant messaging service, the incredibly popular app now includes other services like financial transactions.How do I link my bank account to WeChat? ›
Step 1: Log in to WeChat and select "Me" -> "WeChat Pay". Step 2: Tap『Bank Cards』-『Add Credit Card or Bank Account』-『Add bank account』. Step 3: Select a bank. Step 4: Enter 6-digit payment passcode, access to the online banking page or『Add bank account』page.How to send money from China to USA? ›
- Via bank to bank transfer. Bank to bank transfer requires a Chinese bank account. ...
- Through Western Union or Moneygram. ...
- PayPal and other payment options. ...
- Use Alipay international transfer.
#1：WeChat and WeChat Pay for foreigners
Fortunately, using WeChat and WeChat pay is simple. But just to be sure you're across everything you need to know, we've outlined every step right here. Download WeChat from the App Store or Google Play. Complete registration, login and open up on your phone.
Not All WeChat Accounts Are Created Equal
It's important to note that: Non-Chinese WeChat users have access to Both Chinese and Non-Chinese official accounts. Chinese WeChat users only have access Chinese registered accounts.
WeChat is China's government-approved social network, but you need a WeChat VPN to ensure you're using the app securely and in private.Which country Cannot use WeChat? ›
In response to a border dispute between India and China, WeChat was banned in India in June 2020 along with several other Chinese apps, including TikTok.What is the disadvantage of WeChat? ›
Companies can create profiles within WeChat and can thus gain viewers and customers. A disadvantage is that companies are now part of this app that also contains the social aspect of a digital society, they can therefore invade people's privacy. Privacy is the major issue regarding WeChat.
WeChat Official Account Verification. Setting up a WeChat Official Account is free, but official account verification costs money. Businesses also need to provide documentation.Which banks work with WeChat? ›
Tencent has collaborated with Visa, Mastercard, American Express, the Discover Global Network (including Diners Club), and JCB to allow people to link their international credit cards to WeChat Pay and use the app to pay for goods and services in China, including shopping, restaurants, transportation, and accommodation ...How do I activate my WeChat Pay? ›
- Go to the “Me” tab on WeChat. When you are on your own tab, you'll see “Wallet” listed on the top right side. ...
- Add your card. ...
- Fill in the required information. ...
- Set your password. ...
- Enable QR code. ...
- Try it out!
- First, go to Alipay's application site (make sure you are using your email to register): ...
- Choose your country.
- Verify your email account.
- Verify your phone number, you have the choice of using a Chinese or a foreign phone number.
- Fill out the registration form.
- Select Service account.
- Enter your email address to receive a confirmation code.
- Enter the confirmation code and then choose a password.
- Select your business's country of origin.
- Request the WeChat verification process to get access to premium features.
WeChat business accounts are official accounts available to media, government organizations, invididuals/celebrities, and businesses. Through a WeChat business account brands can reach out to a huge audience and raise brand awareness in an effective way.How do you get approved for WeChat? ›
If your WeChat account is already linked to your phone number, you can use the SMS verification method to verify your account. Go to the 'Verify Identity' section and tap [Via SMS verification code]. An SMS verication code will be sent to your phone. If you don't receive an SMS code, you need to request again.How do I enable international transactions? ›
- Log on to Net Banking with your credentials.
- Click on Cards tab and go to Debit Cards menu.
- Click on Request.
- Select 'Set International / Domestic Usage'
- Select the option 'Card to be enabled for International and Domestic Use'
Money that WeChat friends send to you will end up in your balance. You can withdraw this money directly into any of the bank cards that you have linked.Can I use Visa for WeChat Pay? ›
Link your preferred eligible card or bank account, including Visa, Mastercard and Diners Club cards, to start spending. WeChat Pay can not be opened easily by Singaporeans. This feature is only available for WeChat customers in mainland China, Hong Kong and Malaysia.
In 2022, WeChat touched 811 million users in China, accounting for 57.9% of the total population. In other words, approximately two-thirds of all users of WeChat are located in China. Starting at 968.32 million in 2021, the number of active users on WeChat is estimated to reach 1.102 billion by 2025.Is WeChat Free internationally? ›
No matter what country you're in, WeChat is free to download — but signing up for an account isn't so easy.Can I make payment through VPN? ›
However, with the use of a VPN, you can make payments without worrying about the security standard of the payment processor. Using a VPN will not only mask your online identity but also encrypt your data traffic to protect your private details against cyber fraud.What apps can replace WeChat? ›
- WhatsApp. (www.whatsapp.com) ...
- Kik Messenger. (www.kik.com) ...
- Line. (www.line.me) ...
- Viber. (www.viber.com) ...
- Skype. (www.skype.com) ...
- Telegram. (www.telegram.org) ...
- Google Hangouts. (www.hangouts.google.com)
ExpressVPN received a CNET Editors' Choice Award for best overall VPN. We evaluate VPNs based on their overall performance in three main categories: speed, security and price. Express isn't the cheapest, but it's among the fastest and, so far, is the most secure. Surfshark is a close second among our picks.How do I change my business location on WeChat? ›
- Open WeChat and select the My Profile icon.
- Select, More, Region and add a different location.
- Use your credit card issuer's website or app. Log in to your online account and change the billing address associated with your profile.
- Call customer support. ...
- Update your address via mail. ...
- Update your address in person.
How do I remove WeChat Pay restrictions? In order to comply with relevant laws and regulations, WeChat Pay now requires real-name authentication for all users. For WeChat Pay users who don't have a China's Mainland ID card, you must provide your identity information.Can US residents use Alipay? ›
Alipay members come from over 110 countries, including the United States, Spain, Israel, Singapore, and Brazil. As of the first quarter of 2022, Alibaba has over 1.3 billion active customers. Alipay customers can send and receive money through the app, which functions as a digital wallet stored on their mobile devices.Which payment app is used in USA? ›
PayPal is our pick for best overall payment app. It offers a user-friendly interface, strong security, and there are no fees for sending money to family and friends. PayPal is the granddaddy of payment companies, with a history going back to 1998.
Here's how to use WeChat with a VPN:
First, sign up for one of the VPNs above (we recommend NordVPN). Next, install the VPN app on any device you use often. Usually, you'll be permitted at least five connections at once, but this number varies from one provider to another. Log in and connect to your chosen server.
- Download the Alipay APP. ...
- Open the “Me” section of the APP.
- Enter the “My Account: Cards, Membership” section.
- Tap on the “My Cards – Add Now” button.
- Set a six digit payment password.
- Tap on “My Cards – Add Now” again.
You simply download AliPay from your App Store on your device. You will need to register a mobile number and set up your account. Once this is complete just link your bank card (Chinese account or now a foreign account is also possible) and you are good to go.How do I pay someone from USA to China? ›
- Bank Transfer. The obvious method of transferring money is to send it from your US bank into your Chinese account. ...
- Send The Money Via Paypal. ...
- Withdraw From An ATM. ...
- Carry Cash Into China. ...
- Use An International Credit Card. ...
- Buy Travellers' Cheques.
- Sina Weibo.
- TikTok (aka Douyin)
- Tencent QQ.
- Baidu Tieba.
- Tencent Video.
- Little Red Book.
- Best Overall: PayPal.
- Best for International Transfers: WorldRemit.
- Best for Low Fees: Cash App.
- Best for Shared Bills: Venmo.
- Best for Small Transfers: Facebook Pay.
- Best for Bank to Bank Transfers: Zelle.
Which money transfer apps work internationally? Many international money transfer services have apps – check out OFX, Remitly, Western Union, Revolut, Wise or XE as a starting point.Does Zelle work internationally? ›
No, Zelle® can only be used to send funds to someone who has a bank account in the United States. However, you can visit a local U.S. Bank branch to send money via wire transfer to an international recipient.