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China’s mobile payment platforms are taking over online marketing


(Photo credit: Korea Times)


Past are the days where we go to a restaurant and ask do you accept Visa or Mastercard, in fact, we will ask if certain mobile payment is available at that restaurant. This is especially true in China where 64% of all payment in restaurant are through mobile payments. Furthermore, due to the fierce competition from both WeChat Pay and Alipay for a higher market share, both mobile payment solutions have been aggressively launching promotions to attract more users.


(Photo credit: IPSOS)


With the widespread use of mobile payment in China, retailers and F&B are hoping onto mobile payment marketing to better target its potential customers. Starbucks is the most classic example that is hopping on this trend. Starbucks launched its coffee gifting feature coupon on WeChat where users can simply purchase a coffee coupon with a virtual card and send it to a friend as a gift. The campaign was such a big success with WeChat Pay accounting for 29% of all Starbucks transaction in China.



Screenshot from Starbucks mini program in WeChat
(Photo Credit: technode)


This promotion was inspired by the iconic “hongbao” promotion, virtual envelopes for gifting money, which boosted Alipay and WeChat Pay use during their nascent years. Today, this “hongbao” are commonly used by apps to draw consumers, usually containing coupons or discounts.

Other than “hongbao”, companies are also focusing on WeChat Official Account and e-commerce system to levitate its customer experience. Through WeChat Official Account, brands could broadcast information and promotional material to its followers and build better relationship with its customers.

Another way how companies are using Alipay and WeChat Pay to allow customers to order their food on the app and pay for their food directly, providing a seamless dining experience while going cashless. Through this integrated ordering process, companies can push out more promotional deals, loyalty programme and analyse customer preference to increase sale.


Example of the ordering system on WeChat for one of the café in China
(Photo Credit: Sampi)

The mobile marketing trend is not limited to China. After all, Starbucks launched its mobile ordering and payment system in US in 2015. Furthermore, as stores in Singapore are embracing QR code payment with the upcoming SG QR, this trend will continue to spread onto other platforms beside WeChat Pay and Alipay.

Meanwhile, WeChat Pay and Alipay are still the prominent players in mobile payment industry. Thus, marketing on these platforms are essential to brands focusing on gaining a piece of the huge Chinese tourist market, as China is the world largest spender in outbound tourism, spending US$258 billion abroad (in 2017), is not a market to overlook. Thus, many major local companies had also hopped on to target Chinese tourist on WeChat platform, one of them is Changi Airport Group.

Changi Airport Group recently signed a 3-year marketing partnership with WeChat Pay, to launch and publicise joint shopping promotions at Changi Airport. Changi Airport Group hope to make use of this partnership to better serve its passenger, by offering targeted and attractive promotions for WeChat Pay users. It is the first airport in Southeast Asia to launch WeChat Pay as a mobile payment platform on a large scale across its wide range of commercial offerings. In addition, with more than 150 outlets accepting WeChat Pay as a mode of payment, Changi Airport will be airport with the widest acceptance of WeChat Pay among all Asian airports, outside of China.

About FOMO Advertising

FOMO Advertising is a subsidiary of FOMO Pay Pte, is the first authorized Tencent advertising agency in Singapore. We provide a comprehensive solution for your WeChat campaigns, including market research, design services and media buying. Our team is here for you every step of the way, bringing you closer to the Chinese market. For more information, visit our website at www.fomoads.com.


About FOMO Pay

FOMO Pay provides one-stop QRCode Payment Solution which enables merchants to accept a full suite of new payment methods including WeChat Pay, NETSPay, mVISA, Grab Pay, Baidu Wallet, Best Pay, etc. Launched in 2016 with more than 1000 merchants acquired within a year, FOMO Pay is trusted by major companies including SPH, Marina Bay Sands, StarHub, JUMBO, Club 21, CHANEL, etc. With FOMO Pay, merchants can unlock true business potential by giving customers the payment options they prefer and adopt cashless payment easily. FOMO Pay is also sitting in MAS SGQR Taskforce to promote QR code payment and make Singapore a cashless society.