What the West is still regarding as different worlds have long since found each other in China. The distinction between “online” and “offline” shopping has been abolished. Within the WeChat Wallet, it doesn’t matter whether you pay for an order from the Internet or at the cash register.
Customers pay for their goods in the online store, or customers pick up goods ordered on the Internet in the store and then pay for them at the checkout. The retail companies have a continuous data flow. Customer purchases, whether they were made online or offline, are consolidated in a shared customer account. Accordingly, payment of outstanding invoices is possible with just one mouse click.
This merging of online and offline shopping offers companies completely new design options for their marketing. The retail giants can offer their customers a seamless transition between the shopping worlds for the buyers’ journey. This new dimension in the consumer market is made possible by the omnipresent WeChat Pay.
It is among the young urban population, market penetration of almost 100 percent. The WeChat account can be used for online and offline transactions. Particularly for offline transactions, payment is very often made by scanning QR codes.
Retail companies usually use a “Service Account” within WeChat. It is available to large brand suppliers as well as small trading companies. Individual suppliers cannot use this account. By linking the account to WeChat Pay, sellers have many options. I would like to briefly introduce the five most important features here:
If a company has linked its WeChat store with the WeChat Pay function, its customers can pay and purchase the product directly in the online store via WeChat Pay. Buyers confirm the payment by entering their password or their fingerprint. They have the choice of paying the outstanding amount with the credit in their WeChat Wallet or by direct debit from their bank account. After the transaction, they will receive a notification of the receipt of the payment and further information.
Vendors can also use the Software Development Kit (SDK) provided by WeChat. This is a WeChat Pay interface, which allows them to integrate WeChat directly into their app. Users can thus pay for purchases within an app via WeChat Pay without leaving the app.
Vendors can also convert their invoices into QR codes. These are then scanned by the customers (with their smartphone). In this way, they receive all data important for payment (e.g. account number, payment amount, invoice number, etc.) in a compact form and can pay the outstanding amount very quickly and without errors.
QR Code payments can also be used for payments on a laptop or desktop. Once the user has selected the “Scan QR code” function in WeChat Pay, WeChat Pay generates a QR code that appears on the screen. The buyer scans this code with his smartphone and thereby completes his payment.
Each customer has an individual QR code in which his account data is stored. For small everyday purchases (e.g. supermarket or ticket) it is sufficient for a salesperson to scan a customer’s QR code. This process can speed up the transaction tremendously because the buyers do not have to confirm the payment again. Present the merchant with his smartphone, he scans the code — and the payment is complete. Quick Pay is especially useful in supermarkets and consumer shops such as bakeries or coffee shops. The customer only has to decide whether the amount is to be debited from the credit balance in the WeChat Wallet or directly from the bank account.
WeChat offers its partner companies to generate the appropriate QR Codes for them. In this way, they can place the WeChat QR Codes directly on the products. In this way, customers can pay for their purchase from their WeChat wallet even when they are offline.
This way, WeChat makes a profit on every transaction that a customer makes via the WeChat Wallet. The price that companies have to pay for this service is 0.6% of the sales price. They are charged to the merchants as a commission.
What is your favorite paying option within WeChat? What situation was to you the most unexpected place to pay for something via WeChat Pay? For me it was definitely a homeless I me in Shanghai, who had a WeChat Pay QR-Code printed on his begging Sign.