Digital Asia News Update
A potential deal, in conjunction with WeChat, would allow merchants to accept a NETSPay QR-code system
People residing in Singapore who use the payments service NETS — which is practically everybody — could shortly be able to take the system abroad and use it for mobile payments in China, according to the South China Morning Post.
Citing sources, the SCMP reported that NETS and Tencent are in talks to facilitate a system whereby NETSPay users will find a QR-code code they can scan at shops that accept WeChat payments.
The deal is still being finalised and both companies did not comment on the matter.
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If it goes through, the product would add a great deal of convenience for Singapore residents travelling to China. WeChat Pay has become ubiquitous in the country but the international version of WeChat does not make the wallet function easy (except in Malaysia). Facilitating NETS payments via Tencent would eliminate a few steps for travellers in China.
The deal would be the first time WeChat has partnered with a third-party vendor for payments in China, according to the SCMP.
The vast majority of international WeChat payment users are Chinese nationals travelling abroad and using the service at merchants in, say, Thailand, who accept the QR-code system.
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WeChat does appear to have international ambitious, albeit it is moving slowly. Last month, it tested a system that would allow Hong Kong residents to pay for goods via WeChat and settle the bill in Hong Kong Dollars. That, however, was not widespread.
In Malaysia, the company launched WeChat Pay MY, a service that includes the core parts of WeChat’s payment features — free P2P transfers, a merchant payment system and debit card binding.