Golden week prompts another wave of cross-border payments

Updated 2017-10-09 10:01:53 Global Times

With the conclusion of eight-day Golden Week holidays, consumers are wrapping up their overseas trips having taken advantage of more options with different discounts.

According to a document sent to the Global Times by Tencent, millions of WeChat users made overseas trips during the holiday period. As a result, overseas payments surged. Hong Kong was one of the hottest destinations and most of the payments were spent on shopping.

The WeChat payment function has been set up in 13 countries and regions, providing transaction services to more than 130,000 overseas businesses around the world and supporting more than 12 foreign currencies in settlements.

Alipay's in-store payment service is covering more than 30 countries and regions across the world, and tax reimbursement via Alipay is supported in 24 countries and regions. Alipay currently supports 19 currencies.

Baidu Wallet payment service, offered by Chinese search giant Baidu Inc, went live in Thailand. Next, it will develop markets in Japan and South Korea.

JD Finance, the financial business unit of Inc, arranged a joint venture with Thai retail group Central Group in September, with an initial strategy to focus on the payment market, reported.

However, there might be still many opportunities for the payment service providers to explore and develop.

An independent traveler surnamed Liu told the Global Times on Sunday that he visited Manchester in the UK and over the past week, he paid his bills in bars and restaurants with either cash or credit cards. "Alipay and WeChat payment function are not popular overseas," Liu concluded.

Fiona Huang flew to Israel for her holiday. "I paid in shops either with U.S. dollars or with my credit card," she said, without noticing options such as Alipay or the WeChat payment function.

"In Europe, most of the shops prefer credit cards, only few shops owned by Chinese might accept Alipay or WeChat payment," a convention and exhibition professional surnamed Liu said. "Some shop owners find it more convenient when it comes to tax rebates, that's why the Visa card is more popular in Germany."

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