How is WeChat Pay doing in Japan?

More than 6.37 million Chinese tourists travelled to Japan in 2016, making up ¼ of Japan’s total foreign tourists, according to an article from PC Online. More and more Japanese business owners have integrated mobile payment services popular in China, such as WeChat Pay and Alipay, into their payment systems in order to attract more Chinese consumers.

Increased adoption of WeChat Pay amongst Japanese businesses

On 3 July, Don Quijote, one of Japan’s most popular discount chain store, announced that they will accept WeChat Pay, thus becoming the world’s 100th WeChat Pay flagship store. Chinese consumers traveling to Japan can use WeChat Pay in any of Don Quijote’s 37 chain stores in the Shibuya, Shinjuku and other business districts. The team at Don Quijote was inspired to provide this mobile payment experience for Chinese tourists after witnessing everyone around them using mobile payment services in Shenzhen last March, said Takashima Kentaro, the Electronic Strategy Planning Officer for Don Quijote, according to an article from Wang Yi News.

Yin Jie, who is in-charge of WeChat Pay’s cross-border business operations, said that WeChat might offer the WeChat Pay service for Japanese consumers if a large number of Japanese have this demand. However, for now, cards linked on WeChat Pay have to be issued from a Chinese bank, thus WeChat Pay in Japan is still primarily for Chinese consumers.

According to data from WeChat Pay, the number of transactions via WeChat Pay in Japan increased by 16 times in six months from January to June this year. In addition, the highest number of transactions recorded in a single day in June is forty times’ the peak in January. Business owners in Japan are also witnessing a growth in sales after adopting WeChat Pay – Haidilao Japan experienced a growth of 25% per month in WeChat Pay usage for 7 months consecutively. Other Japanese businesses that have adopted WeChat Pay include Narita, Haneda and Kansai International Airport, and Takashimaya Department Store.

WeChat Pay aims to expand in countries and regions that Chinese tourists frequent, Yin Jie added. During the summer, WeChat Pay prepared a large amount of cash or Red Packet of up to 50 Yuan per bill, in order to encourage overseas users to pay via WeChat Pay. As of December 2016, WeChat Pay had covered more than 1 million stores in 30 over sectors, while Tencent’s Alipay came in second with average daily payment transactions of more than 600 million.

Both WeChat Pay and Alipay are competing aggressively for market share overseas. China’s Ant Financial has successfully promoted Alipay locally through partnering overseas companies, such as India’s Paytm, Thailand’s Ascent Money, and Korea’s Kakao. On the other hand, WeChat utilizes a different strategy by entering foreign markets through local third parties payment aggregators. WeChat Pay is currently available in more than 13 countries aside from China, and supports many foreign currencies, including but not limited to pound, dollar, yen, euro, won, and baht.

WeChat Pay launches new initiatives to target merchants and service providers in Japan

On 4 July, WeChat Pay announced the launch of its new online WeChat offshore payment platform (pay.wechat.com/cn) in Tokyo, Japan. Business owners and service providers in Japan will need to submit their particulars through the online application platform to indicate their interest, receive an email, and complete the application. This 3-step process reduces the need for unnecessary interaction and inefficiencies, improves access and transparency to information, hence reducing the entry barriers for overseas vendors to adopt WeChat Pay.

In addition, WeChat Pay released the “WE Plan” cross-border payment program, covering a spectrum of areas from product launch, material support, marketing support, etc. The program aims to help merchants make full use of the functions of WeChat Pay, thus allowing Chinese tourists to enjoy the same cashless experience as back home.

It is likely that more overseas merchants will support WeChat Pay with the above initiatives, as they make it more convenient for existing WeChat Pay users to continue spending via WeChat Pay.

About FOMO Pay Pte. Ltd

FOMO Pay is the first authorized WeChat Pay & Baidu Wallet partner in Southeast Asia, and was selected as one of the TOP 100 Asian Companies by E27, TOP 100 Startups by Red Herring Asia, and Top 8 by DBS’ FinTech Accelerator Program. FOMO Pay provides a one-stop solution for local merchants by facilitating payment collection from the China market, including Chinese tourists. This comprises of online/offline Chinese payment modes, such as WeChat Pay, Alipay and Union Pay. FOMO Pay’s business solution serves clients from a wide range of industries, including the telecom, publishing, tourism and hospitality, F&B, education and retail industries.