WeChatPay and Alipay are two online payment platform giants. Even though they cater mainly to the Chinese market, they boast an incredible amount of users. You may not be familiar with these two online payment platforms, but both WeChatPay and Alipay are on a mission of global expansion, and you can bet that in the near future they will make the news.
The presence of WeChatPay and Alipay around the world continues to expand. Therefore, if you have a business targeting the Chinese market, there is a compelling reason for you to implement these two payment options for your customers.
What Are WeChatPay and Alipay?
The Chinese digital environment is massive, and it continues to grow at light-speed. From 2009 to 2016, the e-commerce market in China has benefited from an impressive 2000% growth, and this positive trend continues to be unstoppable. At this point, the yearly e-commerce sales in China are more than the United States and the United Kingdom combined.
In 2017 alone, Chinese consumers purchased more than one-trillion worth of online goods, which is a super-impressive figure. Alipay and WeChatPay are the ones who process the majority of these payments since they retain 90% of the market in China. In China Alipay and WeChatPay are what PayPal and Apple Pay are in the Western world.
What Is The Difference Between Alipay and WeChatPay?
The Alipay payment platform was created by the owner of the Alibaba e-commerce site originally for use solely with the Alibaba platform. However, nowadays Alipay can be used for many in-store payments besides Alibaba, and it has become the world’s largest online payment platforms.
WeChatPay, on the other hand, is the property of Tencent, the creator, and owner of WeChat. While it is a newer platform than Alipay, thanks to the fact that it is connected to the WeChat app, which is the most widely used IM platform in the world, its success has been amazing. Today, WeChatPay retains 40% of the Chinese market against the 54% of Alipay.
The two payment methods are very similar, but there are a few substantial differences. For instance, to start using Alipay, the user must open an account. WeChatPay instead is integrated into the WeChat app. Therefore, once the user registers to WeChat, he receives a payment account automatically.
Alipay is a complete payment platform, offering services similar to a bank. They have even a product called “Huabei” which works like a credit card but without the need to have one. While it is a complete tool it's also more complicated to use, therefore Alipay has more of an appeal among younger users.
WeChatPay, on the other end, is very simple and straightforward to use and this is the secret of its success. Besides payments, WeChatPay is commonly used to transfer money between friends and people, and therefore transactions are smaller in amount but more frequent than Alipay.
Both payment platforms are integrated into their social media platforms. Therefore users can make purchases on the spot as they see a product they like.
How WeChatPay and Alipay Are Expanding Globally
To serve the needs of Chinese living or traveling abroad, WeChatPay and Alipay are extending their services to many countries around the world.
Alipay, for instance, is, now available in more than 30 countries around the world and in 2017 both companies closed some important deals that marked a significative step in their global strategies.
For Instance, Alipay was able to start a partnership with major European banks like BNP Paribas in France, Unicredit in Italy, Barclays in the UK, the SIX Group in Switzerland, and the VTB Group in Russia. Similarly, WeChat has signed an agreement with BNP Paribas in France and Hong Leong Bank in Malaysia.
Moreover, besides their agreements with Banks, both companies have signed contracts with major payment platforms like CITCON in North America and Stripe. Even though some of these online payment platforms, like Stripe, do not have names you are familiar with, they allow businesses to accept payments from all around the world. A partnership with these companies means that Alipay and WeChatPay users will have access to more products from international retailers.
Not to be overlooked is the fact that even merchants like Marriott, Macy’s, Bloomingdale’s, AirAsia and many more are opening up to the two Chinese online payment platforms. It is clear that both WeChatPay and Alipay have an aggressive strategy to expand globally and we can rest assured that their presence worldwide will continue to increase.
Why You Need To Integrate WeChatPay and Alipay Payments
The reason why these two giants are expanding globally is clear. To target Chinese money abroad, they need to make Chinese consumers comfortable even when outside the borders of mainland China.
The way Chinese approach shopping is, in fact, unique compared to the rest of the world. If it is true that online payments in China have become more ubiquitous than anywhere else around the globe, it must be recognized that Chinese consumers firmly believe in trust. Trust is especially important when it comes to clicking the buy button.
Popular payment methods like PayPal are not at all famous in China, and this is a significant roadblock in finalizing an online purchase. In general, if Chinese are not familiar with something, they are suspicious and tend to avoid it. The best way to get around this problem is to make well-known payment options like WeChatPay and Alipay readily available to Chinese users that are abroad. Therefore, this clearly explains all the efforts that the two Chinese payment platforms are putting into global expansion.
This is a critical piece of information if you have an e-commerce or an online business targeting the Chinese audience. You must seriously consider integrating these two online payments methods to attract more Chinese customers and put them in the right frame of mind to buy from you. "Moreover, how to attract Chinese tourists to your local business in Europe is something very specific. You need to follow different points to attract them" according to Kate Chervaniva, Marketing Director at HI-COM Asia.
What is Your Next Step
There is no doubt that now is the right time to enter the Chinese market.
Here at QPSoftware, a leading web agency in China, we are proud of having the needed knowledge to get your business off to a good start in the Chinese market. We can develop web solutions optimized for this unique audience, and we know what the best way to market your products in China are. We have 10+ years experience in the field, and we know what does and doesn't work in China.
If you want to boost your sales in the Chinese market or gain more visibility in China, contact us today, and we will find the best solution for your business.