Following Alipay, WeChat Pay is now also accessible to overseas visitors coming to China

The country’s central bank previously asked third-party payment platforms to clear obstacles preventing international tourists to use their mobile payment services.

Photo: Stock.tuchong.com

Tencent has teamed up with Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Discover Global Network, and Japan’s JCB to allow credit cards issued by these companies outside of the Chinese mainland to be bound with WeChat Pay, according to a post on Tencent’s fintech arm’s public account on Wednesday.

After binding their credit cards with WeChat Pay, international travelers in China will be able to access a series of services and payment options. Tourists will be able to pay for their train tickets via 12306.com, the country’s official train tickets sales portal, pay for a ride via Didi Chuxing or shop on JD.com, among other options.

The service is now limited to certain approved merchants, but Tencent added that more and more retailers will gradually support WeChat Pay transactions linked with credit cards issued by the five companies.

Previously, travelers could link their Visa, Master and JCB credit cards to WeChat Pay, according to an official Tencent’s statement from January 2018, but they would need a mainland bank account registered with their passports, and a mobile phone number to start using the service.

The move came after the General Office of the State Council of China issued a directive in August, calling companies to provide better mobile payment solutions for inbound tourists, said Tencent.

The move also followed a directive from the Shanghai branch of the People’s Bank of China, the country’s central bank, asking third-party payment platforms to clear obstacles preventing international tourists to use their mobile payment services, the Chinese tech giant added.

WeChat Pay’s archrival Alipay has also rolled out an international version to allow inbound tourists to pay in RMB directly, KrASIA reported on Tuesday.