What is WeChat Cross-Border Payment?
The WeChat Cross-Border Payment system allows customers to pay with their regular WeChat account in RMB. The money directly arrives in the user’s oversea account in the local currency, and so far offers support for not just the Australian dollar but also for:
- USD, Euro, Australian dollar, Singapore dollar, Korean won, Japanese yen, British pound and Hong Kong dollar.
The Benefit of Using WeChat Cross-Border?
The WeChat Cross-Border payment system allows for Chinese users to purchase items directly from shops, hotels, or restaurants abroad without having to exchange currency or withdraw money. This benefits both Chinese tourists while also improving business for companies that have integrated WeChat Cross-Border Payment in that it increases the amount of purchasing power and accessibility tourists have.
With a growing Monthly-Active-User base of over 963 billion as of the third business quarter (2017), the WePay system will certainly rise in popularity not just in Australia, but across the globe.
WePay vs Alipay Cross-Border, an alternative?
Before the WeChat payment system, businesses would be using a similar payment solution known as Alipay cross-border. Alipay cross-border is an alternative payment solution and not only has it been around for longer, but is more widely used.
Here is a graph showing the side by side comparison of WeChat Cross-border and Alipay Cross-border.
Compared to Alipay Crossborder and Tmall Global, the WeChat Cross-border option has lower barrier to entry and is directly accessible via WeChat. Smaller brands can use WeChat Payment Crossborder with social promotion and Key Opinion Leaders to test the market without the huge expense associated with Tmall Crossborder. Over time, users can also integrate Tmall Cross for a larger range in supported currencies if the extra cost is deemed worthy.
What are some important things that WeChat Cross-Border applicants should know?
- Users wanting to apply must head to the following url: http://global.tenpay.com/self_application/apply.shtml. While filling out the application, they must select the “WeChat Official Account Payment” checkbox.
- While account creation is free-of-charge, there will be a 3% transaction fee for use.
- Minimal settlement amount is 5000 USD.
- Bank fee is shared (Tenpay covers bank fee for transferring money out from the Chinese bank; other charges such as cost of intermediary banks or receiving banks are covered by account owner).
- If an applying company IS foreign, a China visible WeChat (OA) will be required. To apply for a WeChat OA visible in China, applicants will need a local company (with a Chinese business license) to enter the agreement and take part of the legal risk.