Tencent Holdings-backed WeChat Pay is ramping up its expansion outside mainland China with new initiatives to extend the use of its mobile payment services to taxis and merchants in Hong Kong.
WeChat Pay Hong Kong unveiled a series of payment solutions for daily transactions, announcing that its service can now be used to pay for taxi fare and settle bills in the city.
The new features allow people to transfer money by displaying and scanning each other’s payment codes. Previously, WeChat users could transfer money only by becoming friends on the instant-message application.
Consumers can settle bills by simply scanning the in-app QR code from merchants, such as taxis, newspaper stands, local restaurants, supermarkets and chain stores.
More than 1,000 taxis are expected to accept WeChat Pay as a payment option by the end of this year, said Norman Tam, general manager of Tencent’s International Business Group.
Another function, called Quick Pay, is designed for merchants who have already installed point of sale (POS) systems to handle transactions. They can complete a transaction quickly by scanning a customer’s payment code.
Targeting local SMEs, the new feature of WeChat Pay Checkout can help them generate their own QR codes to receive payment. The service is expected to be launched in December this year.
The Association of Taxi Industry Development has estimated that there are 18,000 taxis operating in the city. “We often see passengers run out of cash on taxi rides,” said association chairman Chan Man-keung. “With WeChat Pay HK, this pain point can be addressed with a new payment option for taxi fares.”
At present, WeChat Pay service is only available for WeChat users registered with Hong Kong telephone numbers. After binding their credit cards with a WeChat Pay account and inputting a six-digit payment password, users can settle payments through WeChat.
The number of merchants accepting WeChat Pay remains confidential.
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