Tourists on a visit to China had to face major problems while making payment. The majority of the shops and restaurants in China did not accept foreign debit, credit and prepaid cards like MasterCard and VISA. This left the people with no other choice but to pay in cash. This also meant that people had to carry cash before going to China or go to the embassy or an authorized dealer to exchange foreign cash for Chinese Yuan.
Although the country is very famous for its mobile payment systems and payment using QR codes and payment from mobile wallets like We Chat Pay and Alipay it could only be done if you had an account in any Chinese bank.
But all this is about to change. We Chat Pay’s QR code payment systems are operated by Tencent while Alipay’s mobile payment platform is managed and operated by Ant Financial.
Ant Financial has announced that it is launching a new version of the mobile app which will now support international debit and credit cards. After downloading the app users can now register for the international version with their foreign mobile number.
Then users can top up money on a pre-paid virtual card and begin to use the app for payment anywhere in China. The app will support Visa, MasterCard, Japan’s JCB and Singapore’s Diners Club cards. Tencent will be supporting all the cards along with American Express cards on We Chat Pay.
Visa acknowledged both Tencent and Ant Financial on Twitter saying that it was a welcome move for the tourists who faced a lot of problems for paying money. Now they can use VISA cards at any outlet across China.
Last year, 141 million people from foreign countries visited China which went up by 1.2%. This year the numbers are expected to rise even further and cross 200 million.