Launched in 2005 as Tenpay, WeChat pay is owned by Tencent. It facilitates the payment needs of WeChat, the most popular social network in China with 800 million monthly active users and counting.Although classed as a social network, WeChat is truly a lifestyle platform that includes functions like microblogging, gaming and shopping.
To use the What Chat Pay e-wallet, customers top up using their debit card, or connect their credit card. This allows them to pay all approved merchants.One particularly popular function of WeChat Pay that catapulted it to success is the ability to send “red envelopes” to friends and family around the time of the Chinese New Year Festival, where it is tradition to give money in red envelopes.
In 2014, Tencent partnered with Baidu and Dalian Wanda Group. This brought WeChat pay to the forefront of payments. Baidu is the prominent search engine in China, and DWG is a conglomerate with cinemas, hotels and department stores. This brought WeChat Pay into a broad spectrum of online and offline outlets.
Since then, Tencent have developed many ways for customers to pay using WeChat, including barcode scanning, QR codes and merchant specific app payments. When Chinese shoppers buy cross-border using WeChat Pay, they can pay in CNY. The merchant’s local currency will be converted into CNY based on real time rate. It also offers a WeChat login button for merchants, which allows customers to login in to merchant websites quickly with their WeChat account.