WeChat Pay applies for license to offer local payment services in Malaysia

In its latest push to enter international markets, WeChat Pay has applied for a license in Malaysia to offer local payment services. If WeChat Pay’s application is successful, this would symbolize a watershed moment for both Tencent and its WeChat payment app.

Although WeChat Pay is currently available in many countries worldwide (including Singapore), overseas users are still unable to pay for goods and services if their WeChat accounts are not linked to a Chinese bank account. Should the Malaysian government accept WeChat Pay’s application, this would mean that making payments through the WeChat payment app would not have to go through a bank conversion with the Yuan. Instead, local WeChat Pay users in Malaysia would then be able to link their local bank accounts to WeChat Pay and pay for items in their own local currency, the Ringgit.

This application also indicates a change in WeChat Pay’s overseas expansion strategy. Usually, WeChat Pay’s modus operandi is to set up partnership operations with businesses offering customers access to WeChat Pay. These local businesses are typically in the tourism industry whose revenues are mostly contributed by Chinese tourists. Through riding on the wave of increased Chinese spending overseas, WeChat Pay has been able to rapidly enter different markets. However, the outreach of WeChat Pay has always been confined to Chinese tourists overseas. With this new strategy, it is clear that Tencent has begun to target local spenders instead of just Chinese tourists.

When quizzed on why Malaysia was chosen as the first jurisdiction outside of Mainland China and Hong Kong to explore a local payments option, Grace Yin, Cross-Border Senior Consultant for WeChat Pay’s Product Development, said that it was due to Malaysia’s large ethnic Chinese community. Indeed, with over 6.65 million ethnic Chinese inhabitants, Malaysia has the second largest Chinese community in the world after Thailand (with 9.39 million). Furthermore, WeChat Pay’s decision to enter the Malaysian markets can also be seen as part of a wider effort by China to invest in Malaysia, with projects such as the Forest City property development in Johor Bahru located just across Singapore hogging the headlines recently.

With the outcome of the license application still hanging in the balance, Ms. Yin hinted that while there is no timeline to offer local payment services in more countries, she did not eliminate the possibility of that happening. As it stands, with our unique payment solutions, FOMO Pay is well-positioned to help WeChat Pay grow in the various South East Asian markets, as well as to help local merchants expand their businesses.   

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.