Merging of online and offline shopping: WeChat Pay and it’s functions

Merging of online and offline shopping

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.


WeChat Pay functions

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:


1. In-app web-based payment

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.


2. In-app payments

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.

3. QR Code Payments

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.


4. Quick pay

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.


5. Weixin checkout

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.

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Nora Holtmann is a passionate platform hacker: She loves to discover new platforms and explore their technical possibilities for new businesses. Her specialty is developing new digital business models for social media platforms and reporting on them in books and blogs. That you are reading about her here is the best proof that it works. As a lecturer, she trains online marketing managers and helps them to develop creative opportunities for their companies. Her passion is traveling. When she is not traveling with her backpack, she travels the world via the internet. This way she has made contacts all over the world. She lives in Berlin and also loves to travel culinary to the countries where she is currently mentally active (currently China and Korea are on the menu). Nora Holtmann can be booked for lectures and seminars. Also check out her books on Amazon!

7 thoughts to “Merging of online and offline shopping: WeChat Pay and it’s functions”

  1. What’s Going down i’m new to this, I stum­bled upon this I’ve found It pos­i­tive­ly use­ful and it has helped me out loads.

    I’m hop­ing to con­tribute & help oth­er cus­tomers like its aid­ed me.
    Great job.

  2. Hi! Do you use Twit­ter? I’d like to fol­low you if that would be okay. I’m def­i­nite­ly enjoy­ing your blog and look for­ward to new posts.

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