Chinese ecommerce giant Tencent has launched a mobile wallet service in South Africa in partnership with Standard Bank. The service lets users of social messaging app WeChat make P2P transfers, pay for services such as airtime, data and electricity and make in-store payments by scanning QR codes at merchants supporting the SnapScan mobile payments platform.
“You can use up to three chip and PIN debit or credit cards in the WeChat Wallet,” WeChat says. “People can cash in and cash out at Standard Bank ATMs and participating retailers including Spar, Spar Tops and Cambridge Food Stores.
“In addition, cash can be sent to friends via WeChat even without the need for a bank account. When registering for the WeChat Wallet, users automatically become Standard Bank Instant Money users, which allows those without bank accounts to enjoy the benefits of the platform. Instant Money vouchers make up the cash balance, which can be topped up via Standard Bank self-service channels.
“People can also cash in and cash out via Instant Money vouchers at Standard Bank ATMs and participating retailers.”
A video shows how WeChat Wallet works for in-store payments:
“The new digital wallet service is WeChat’s most exciting offering yet,” says Brett Loubser, head of WeChat Africa. “It truly showcases the scope of the platform and provides a safe way for users to store their bank cards and make cash payments on the go in a tech-savvy way.
“The service is another way WeChat is merging the online and offline worlds, providing users with seamless payment integration in a single application. Now they won’t be inconvenienced if they forget their purses or money at home because everything they need is at their fingertips.”
WeChat began offering in-store payments at nine Chinese merchants in September 2014. Tencent reported that more than 200 million customers have added their bank cards to its QQ Wallet and Weixin Pay mobile payment platforms in November 2015.