Ever tried using WeChat Pay with your international bank card and hit a snag?
Using WeChat Pay with international bank cards provides a convenient and seamless way to make payments in China.
WeChat Pay, a popular mobile payment platform, allows users to link their international bank cards to their WeChat accounts, enabling them to shop, dine, and make various transactions effortlessly. This feature has greatly facilitated the lives of international travelers and expatriates in China, as it eliminates the need to carry cash or rely solely on local bank accounts.
WeChat and WeChat Pay are part of everyday life in China. WeChat is a combination of a messaging app, social media platform, web browser, and mobile payment system.
This post is your guide on how to set up WeChat Pay hassle-free using those very cards. Stick around; there’s more good stuff ahead!
- International bank cards can now be linked to WeChat Pay, allowing foreigners to enjoy the convenience of mobile payments in China.
- To set up WeChat Pay with international bank cards, you will need a valid passport or foreign permanent resident ID card, an overseas credit card, and complete real-name registration.
- Transaction fees apply when using WeChat Pay, including a 3% fee on payments over RMB 200 and a merchant fee of 0.6% for business transactions.
- There are limitations when using foreign cards on WeChat Pay, such as being unable to withdraw money from ATMs and only being able to make purchases within mainland China.
How to Set Up WeChat Pay with International Bank Cards
WeChat is a social media giant in China with more than a billion users and counting, the next logical step for this mega platform was the introduction of cashless payments via WeChat Pay (Weixin Pay in China).
WeChat Pay payment method is used daily by Chinese citizens domestically and abroad, with over 800 million monthly active users. It’s similar to Apple Pay and Google Pay.
To set up a WeChat Pay account, you will need certain mandatory documents. These include a valid Passport or a Foreign Permanent Resident ID Card, as well as an international banking card that will be linked to your WeChat Pay for transactions.
It is also important to complete the real name registration with your ID number and bank card information, especially if you plan to use the Quick Payment feature on the WeChat App.
If you don’t have a Chinese bank account, don’t worry, there are procedures you can follow to successfully set up your WeChat Wallet with foreign credit cards or bank accounts.
Steps to bind foreign cards to WeChat Pay
Setting up WeChat Pay with global bank cards is a straightforward process.
First, gather all the required documents including your foreign credit card and personal identification. Start by logging into your WeChat app and navigate to the ‘Me’ section.
You’ll find ‘WeChat Pay’ and then click on ‘Wallet’. Select ‘Cards’, tap on ‘Add a Card’, input your foreign card information, and confirm phone number linked to the card for verification.
Once the cards are successfully linked, foreign users can use WeChat Pay to make payments to merchants across various sectors, including dining, shopping, transportation, and hotel accommodation.
Transaction Fees and Exchange Rates
Are there any transaction fees for using WeChat Pay? How is the exchange rate calculated when using international bank cards on WeChat Pay?
Are there transaction fees for using WeChat Pay?
Using WeChat Pay does come with transaction fees. When you make a payment over RMB 200 ($27.82), there is a 3 percent fee applied to the total amount.
This fee covers not only service fees from WeChat Pay but also any additional costs from your bank or other financial institutions involved in transferring the funds.
Additionally, if you’re conducting business through WeChat Pay, there is a merchant fee of 0.6%, slightly higher than Alipay’s charges. It’s important to note that the specific transaction fees may vary depending on different factors and transaction types within WeChat Pay.
How is the exchange rate calculated?
The exchange rate used in WeChat Pay is determined by the card organization and the issuing bank of your international card. It is based on the spot exchange rate provided by partner settlement banks through the WeChat Pay Cross-Border Service.
Keep in mind that WeChat Pay does not have its own currency exchange rates, so the exchange rate you get will depend on the credit cards you use.
Limitations for Foreign Cards on WeChat Pay
Foreign cards on WeChat Pay have limitations, such as not being able to withdraw money from ATMs and only being able to make purchases within mainland China.
What are the limitations of using foreign cards on WeChat Pay?
When using foreign cards on WeChat Pay, there are certain limitations to be aware of. WeChat Pay has transaction limits for foreign cardholders, and the international credit card function is still in its pilot program, which means there may be limitations on payment options available.
WeChat Pay also sets restrictions if the total amount topped up, received, or paid within a 30-day period exceeds RMB50,000 or its equivalent in foreign currency.
However, efforts have been made to accept Visa and Mastercard on WeChat Pay, as well as on Tencent Holdings and Ant Group platforms, which allow users to link their international credit cards.
These developments aim to provide support for both foreign credit and debit cards, eliminating the need for a Chinese bank card.
Can Alipay bind overseas cards as well?
Alibaba Group’s Alipay, a mobile payment app, allows users to bind their overseas cards and make payments using the app. Starting in late 2019, Alipay has enabled users from Hong Kong, South Korea, and Malaysia to link their credit or bank cards issued by major international operators. In 2023, the company opened the possibility to other international cards as well.
This allows international users to enjoy the convenience of mobile payment in China without needing to use cash.
Alipay and WeChat Pay are dominant in digital payment services, accounting for a combined 91% market share. But, WeChat Pay has expanded its support for international card types by adding JCB cards, while Alipay does not offer this option, you can only link cards issued by Visa and Mastercard.
Do You Need Help To Use WeChat Pay With International Bank Cards? Let Us Help You!
Using WeChat Pay with international bank cards is now more accessible than ever for foreigners. Now, WeChat Pay has six different payment products: Quick Payment, QR Code Payment, Mini Program Payment, Official Account Payment, In-APP Payment, and Web Payment.
By following the simple steps to set up WeChat Pay and linking your overseas credit card, you can enjoy the convenience of mobile payments in China and even make cross-border transactions.
Just be sure to stay updated on any changes or guidelines from WeChat Pay to ensure a smooth payment experience.
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