You can now tie foreign credit cards to your WeChat Pay account!
Just so long as you downloaded WeChat in mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau, or Taiwan
Always wanted to use WeChat Pay, but don’t have a Chinese bank account for some reason? Well, my friend, your day has finally arrived! Tencent has announced that you will finally be able to bind major international credit cards to China’s ultra-popular mobile payment system.
However, the catch is that this will only work for users who downloaded WeChat in mainland China, Hong Kong, Macao, or Taiwan. If you have that version of the app, then you’ll be able to link up credit cards — not debit cards — from MasterCard, Visa, and JCB to your WeChat Pay account.
Even with those limitations, it’s at least refreshing that WeChat is doing something to cater a bit more to its international users. While the social messaging app boasts nearly 1 billion monthly active users, the vast majority of those are locals living in mainland China, meaning that it has little incentive at this point to pamper lost laowai.
Recently, WeChat has been growing abroad, expanding to 25 different countries around the world, but the main goal of its global expansion is to follow the millions of big-spending Chinese tourists travelling abroad each year, who have become accustomed to paying for things with their phones.
However, WeChat has certainly also built up a devoted fan base among expats in China, who in some ways are even more crazy about the app than locals. TechNode reports that over 64% of foreigners living in China use WeChat Pay to take care of purchasing daily necessities.