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Mobile payments are so ubiquitous in China that even outdoor markets make sure their QR codes are prominently displayed for easy payment. (Picture: Simon Song/SCMP)

WeChat Pay joins Alipay in allowing international credit cards

China is making it easier for foreigners in the country to use mobile payments

This article originally appeared on ABACUS
WeChat Pay now supports international credit cards for foreign visitors, Tencent announced yesterday. Supported cards include Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Discover and JCB.

This is will be the first time foreign visitors will be able to use international credit cards to pay with WeChat Pay in China. However, it’s limited to certain online services for now. Tencent said international cards can be used to pay for dozens of online services, including ride-hailing service Didi, ecommerce app, travel booking app Ctrip and 12306, the official train ticket booking site run by China Railway.

WeChat Pay’s announcement comes after rival Alipay launched a mini-program that also lets people use international credit cards to top-up a prepaid card. Previously, people needed a Chinese bank account to use Alipay in China. China’s central bank is also pushing to let underserved populations join the cashless trend, including foreigners and rural residents without bank accounts.

(Abacus is a unit of the South China Morning Post, which is owned by Alibaba, whose affiliate Ant Financial operates Alipay.)

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