WeChat 5.0, Foraying into Payments through their Social Messaging App

WeChat (popularly known as Weixin in China), a social messaging app has registered about 400 Mn users around the world since its inception in January, 2011. The updated version of their app i.e. WeChat 5.0 brings with it new features like mobile payments, a game centre and a sticker store. Users can now make payments through the WeChat application as it enables integration with their bank accounts.

WeChat’s success has driven its parent company’s (Tencent) stock valuation to $100 Bn. Tencent is classified as one of Asia’s biggest technology firm and has strong presence in China. It also competes with Alibaba, an e-commerce firm.

Some Features of the Application:

  • Through Wechat, Merchants can now setup their corporate accounts where users can follow them.
  • Wechat would be handling the technical integration and support areas for these vendors, including page design and payment linkups.
  • Wechat 5.0 will enable users to scan the barcode of different products on their smartphones. If the products are available online, users will be directed to different e-commerce verticals to complete the transaction. The app also recognizes scanned books and CD covers for online purchases.
  • WeChat has a secured payment system wherein the user needs to input bank account details for any purchase made on the app. Through this, the user can buy movie tickets or coupons from various merchants directly through the Wechat application. The payment is transacted through Tenpay, Wechats third party payment channel.

With Wechat 5.0 we are aiming at taking the platform to the next level making it more than just a chatting app and enriching the user experience by being a truly mobile social platform said Poshy Yeug, VP at International Business Group at Tencent.

Another company operating in the same space is Alipay a third party online payment platforms established by China’s largest e-commerce operator Alibaba Group. It has generated a turnover of US $45 billion accounting for 78.4% of online payments in china. You can read lets talk payments article on Alipay vs Tenpay - the china payments rivalry.

This video is a complete tutorial on how to use WeChat. It also shows the new features with its version 5.0 update.

LTP View: Connecting the offline world payments to online or mobile is a good approach. It reduces dependency on cash and makes transactions simple and cashless. With Wechat's increasing popularity every passing day among the global users (especially youth), it should be a great thing to be able to pay for your soda pop even while you are chatting.