Wechat Payment Vs. Alipay, photo from Baidu.

The WeChat Payments team announced today that WeChat Payment will now be officially open to overseas merchants. The WeChat Payments team has said it has partnered with a dozen foreign banks to offer service in 20 countries and regions. Prior to this announcement, WeChat Payment launched in Australia last month through a collaboration with Australian payment platform Royal Pay.

Payments processed with WeChat Payment overseas will charge users in RMB but settle payments in local currencies. Same as in China, users will need to present their phones to cashiers to have their WeChat Wallet QR codes scanned, with WeChat finishing the transaction and conversion between currencies automatically.

WeChat Payment already supports transactions between RMB and nine other currencies: the British Pound, the Hong Kong Dollar, the U.S. Dollar, the Canadian Dollar, the Australian Dollar, the Euro, the New Zealand Dollar and the South Korean Won. WeChat Payment will be responsible for basic technical support while third-party partners overseas, such as Royal Pay, will be in charge of remaining services.

According to Tencent’s third quarter financial report for this year, WeChat has a total of 650 million monthly active users on both its Chinese and overseas versions. According to the WeChat Payment team, 60% of WeChat’s active users have WeChat Payment set up.

In October, Ant Financial’s Global Business President Peng Yijie announced WeChat’s primary competitor AliPay, is available in over 20 countries through 50,000 merchants. AliPay aims at connecting over 500,000 overseas merchants by the end of 2016.

How to set up a WeChat Payment merchant account

During WeChat Payment’s trial operation stage, merchants that meet the following two criteria will be qualified to apply:

1. Companies will need to have a legal overseas presence.
2. Companies will need to have an independent website or app (app must have an independent demo).

Overseas merchants with a public account on WeChat can apply through the following steps:

1. Provide company information.
2. Pass review.
3. Sign a contract with WeChat Payment.
4. Launch WeChat Payment service.

Documentation needed includes:

1. A completed WeChat Payment application form.
2. A Business license or registration document copy.
3. Identity documents for a contact person or CEO.
4. Documentary proof of an online bank account or copy verified with company stamp.

(Top photo from Baidu Image)