September 8, 2015
Alipay Wallet is operated by Alibaba’s finance arm. The wallet service is widely used offline instead of cash and credit cards, especially for taxis, department and convenience stores in China. Alipay has over 300 million registered users and boasts of over 190 million downloads of its wallet app. The company has collaborated with Huawei to bring fingerprint scanning as a biometric authentication feature for Alipay Wallet. It is becoming rare to find a Chinese smartphone without the Alipay Wallet installed on it. The fact that it can be used for everything at the press of a finger is significant. People use it to transfer money, pay their bills, check their bank balance and add money to their phone account. They can also shop online and pay for the products through the same app.
WeChat’s payment system partnered with PICC (one of the largest insurance companies based in China) to insure users against fraud and theft. This move has made it easier for subscribers of WeChat to feel confident in transacting so that they can now pay gas and other utility bills, buy items and services and even book taxis without leaving the app. The ability to make these types of micro-payments is a very smart strategy for WeChat domestically as well as internationally. WeChat Wallet will especially open up interest for the application in markets where credit cards are not widely used, connecting users with retail offerings more seamlessly. WeChat’s expansion through social media platforms will help the company increase its market share and even surpass Alipay.
Market Share of Wallet players in China
Baidu Wallet enables users to transfer money, pay bills and check the performance of Baidu's wealth management products via its website or mobile app. Baidu Wallet now appears to be similar to other existing online payment platforms, including the veteran Alipay and the rising star Tenpay. The company has recently set up a deal by which Baidu Wallet is reportedly set to become the payment method of choice for Uber users in China.
It enables payments at the point-of-sale as well as mobile financial services. The app links a user’s smartphone with his/her bank accounts. China UnionPay has partnered with China Mobile for developing an NFC-based system for handling transactions via smartphones.