Alipay vs. WeChat – More Challenges as They are Going Global

Over the years, cash has established its status as the most common payment modality in every circumstance. Modern times have changed this situation and people used cash when they couldn’t buy something with their cards. Nowadays, countries like China have developed innovative solutions like scanning the QR code from the mobile payments operated by Internet giants like Alibaba or Tencent.

These third-party apps can be used for acquiring diverse products, from luxury brands to groceries and they are so popular because the payment is faster and secure. For this reason, the mobile payment market from China tripled in the last two years, reaching over $5 trillion in 2017.

This huge success ensured the system’s access overseas. Alipay and WeChat Pay are two third-party payment tools that are making their way out of China and this can be considered an important progress for tourist paradises.

Alipay and WeChat are important helpers for tourists

According to the World Tourism Organization, Chinese tourists spend over $200 billion in total during their travels. Their favorite destinations are Hong Kong, Thailand, Japan or Korea. Some of this exotic oasis is popular among other tourists as well, so the mobile payment apps developers thought about introducing their creations on these markets.

In this case, the two apps have started to develop partnerships with several other countries. In fact, since 2015, Alipay invested a lot of money into developing several local e-wallet and dedicated start-ups in countries like India, South Korea, The Philippines, Thailand and Singapore.

We can conclude that both apps are aiming to reach tourists. In this case, they will have to develop some local wallets for enabling peer-to-peer transactions and integrate them into the local economy. In this case, Alipay will face some issues because of local banking systems, so it looks like WeChat could win this race. The former could have an important advantage – it is the extension of the highly-used eponymous social networking and IM tool.

After Asia, Alipay and WeChat are planning to conquer Europe, North America and Australia. WeChat made the first step and entered Europe this year in July, two years after Alipay. Furthermore, both solutions entered the US supported by a partnership between providers like First Data and CITCON. The apps made some moves around Australia as well.

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About the Author: Francis E. Hagopian

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