How to Use WeChat Pay in China

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WeChat is a free application launched by Tencent on January 21, 2011 to provide instant messaging services for smart phone. WeChat is the most popular social networking APP in China, similar to Facebook and WhatsApp, and almost every mobile user has it on their phone in China. In WeChat, you can easily stay in touch with your friends and family.

Chinese Name: 微信 wēi xìn
Developer: Tencent
Initial Release: January 21st, 2011
Monthly Active Users: 1.08 billion (2019)

How many people use WeChat?
WeChat has covered more than 94% of smartphones in China, with monthly active users reaching 1.08 billion. The number of WeChat users is up to 1 billion, but it ranks third in social APP around the world, after Facebook and WhatsApp. Every day 45 billion messages are sent on WeChat; 410 million audio and video calls are made. It has become the biggest social app in China.


What can you do with WeChat?

  • Instant messages: text, voice, video, calls, stickers, photos, file, group chat, location sharing, red packet
  • Public platform: official accounts, mini programs, subscription accounts, service accounts
  • Make friends: new friends, friend shake, people nearby,
  • WeChat Pay: WeChat wallet
  • Moments: share your life via text, images, music, short videos, articles and news
  • Game Center: play games with your friends

What is WeChat Pay?
WeChat Pay is a payment function integrated in the WeChat App, and users can complete the fast payment process through the mobile phone. WeChat Pay provides users with safe, fast and efficient payment services based on fast payment with bank cards. WeChat Pay is available in most retail stores, restaurants, hospitals, taxis, entertainment venues, and hotels.

Can foreigners use WeChat Pay in China?
The answer is yes. Foreigners can use WeChat Pay to pay in China. Current WeChat payment supports the linking and consumption of international bank cards such as VISA, MASTER, AMEX, JCB, DINERS/DISCOVER, etc.

How to sign up WeChat?
Download the latest version of WeChat APP on your mobile phone. Open the WeChat app, tap “Sign Up” and “Sign up with mobile”, choose your region code, enter your mobile and set a password. One mobile phone number can only be used for creating one WeChat account.

How to link bank card with WeChat Pay?
1. Add bank card
Open the WeChat App, tap “Me” section on the right bottom and click “Wallet” under your profile picture. You can check your balance, top up mobile, buy tickets, order a taxi, and do lots of other things here. Then Click on “Cards” option and choose “Add a Card”.

2. Enter your bank card information
Please note that WeChat Pay only supports linking your own bank card. Enter your card number, select the type of card and the organization to which it belongs, and fill in the card information as well as your personal information like passport ID number, name, and phone number that your bank has on file. Then you will get a message with confirmation code. Enter the code into the prompt to verify the card linking.

3. Set a 6-digit payment password

After link the card to WeChat Pay, you will be asked to create a payment password. This password will be used for transaction payment. Now, start using WeChat Pay in China to make transactions.

4. Real Name Authentication
In order to comply with relevant laws and regulations, WeChat Pay now requires real name authentication for all users. After binding your bank card, you will also need to complete real name authentication before completing any payments. Real name authentication requires the following identity information:

  • Your passport number or Mainland China ID card number;
  • Your full name exactly as listed on your ID document, including capitalization and punctuation;
  • Your mobile phone number, address, occupation, photo of your ID used above and clear photo of your face.

What type of bank card can be link to WeChat Pay?
As of 2019, WeChat Pay supports a total of 408 banks (288 savings cards, 117 credit cards, and 3 foreign card organizations). Up to 10 bank cards of the same name (including credit card) can be bound to each WeChat payment account. Non-continental bank cards only support binding credit cards. When binding, you need to verify the card number, valid period, CVN2; US, Canada needs to verify the billing address.

How to use WeChat to pay?
1. Pay Vendor (Quick Pay with a payment code)
Open the WeChat APP, click the “+” in upper-right corner and tap “Money” to allow the vendor to scan QR code on your phone. The money will be automatically deducted from your bank account after enter the payment password. It’s convenient to use in stores, when you need to pay quickly.

2. Scan QR Code
The shop owners will put their own QR code on their store, if they don’t have a special machine to scan your QR code. When you buy things, you can take out your phone and then scan the QR code, the bill is paid. Just click “+” in upper-right corner, tap “Scan” to scan the QR code and enter the amount you will transfer to the cashier.

3. In-app Payment
WeChat Pay can be integrated into other APPs like Didi Taxi, Meituan, Ctrip, etc. When you make a payment through these apps, just choose WeChat pay and the money will be deducted.

4. Receive Money
You are able to receive money from others through WeChat. Tap “Money” and choose “Receive Money”

How can I unlink bank card from WeChat Pay?
If you want to unlink the bank card, you can follow the steps below:

1. Start in “Me”, tap “WeChat Pay” and tap “Cards”
2. Select the specific card and tap it into the details page
3. Tap “…” menu on the top right corner
4. Tap “Unlink” at the bottom of the page to unlink the bank card.

How do I cancel my WeChat Pay?
If you are using version 7.0 or later, you need to log into WeChat, click ”Me” section and ”WeChat Pay”, tap”…” menu in the top right corner, select “WeChat Pay Cancellation”, and then follow the instructions to cancel your WeChat Pay Account.

After cancellation, the data including card holder profile (name and identity document number), transaction history, remaining funds in Balance and Balance details will be cleared and cannot be restored. If the real name authentication has not been finished, “WeChat Pay Cancellation” won’t be accessed.

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