yTencent has introduced in-store mobile payments in WeChat, its popular mobile messaging app, for nine retail chains across China.
As Pingwest reports, Chinese WeChat users will spot a new “Small Payments” (shuaka, or “swipe card” in Chinese) feature inside the “Wallet” section of the app. Pressing the icon and entering one’s password for WeChat Payments will subsequently generate a QR Code or a barcode that retailers can scan to accept payments for in-store purchases.
Vendors on board for the feature’s initial rollout include Dairy Queen, Guoda Pharmacies, department store chains Tianhong and Minsheng Baihuo, supermarket chains One Plus One and Lotus, convenience store chains Hao Lingju and Guoda 365, and childcare chain Aiyingshi. Tech in Asia has reached out to Tencent for more details on the terms of its partnerships with these outlets.
WeChat’s in-store payments feature resembles that that of Alibaba’s Alipay Wallet, which lets users pay for in-store goods by generating QR codes, bar codes, and sound waves. Alibaba told Tech in Asia that as of January, 30,000 individual brick-and-mortar outlets were accepting in-store payments through the app.
In-store mobile payments is an area hotly contested space by China’s tech giants. While Alibaba’s Alipay Wallet likely generates more gross merchandise volume because of its tie in with Alibaba’s long-standing escrow service, Tencent’s WeChat Payments got a huge boost in registrations thanks to a gifting campaign that went viral over Chinese New Year. Tencent’s recent US$814 million joint venture with Baidu and Wanda Group affirms its commitment to bringing mobile payments to the masses.
Editing by Steven Millward; top image via Flickr user dcmaster