Popular Chinese messaging and now payment application WeChat is opening its payment platform to all businesses.
As many expected, WeCaht and its mother company Tencent are slowly becoming more and more of a direct competition to Alibaba and its payment entity Alipay. After trial and trepidation with previous incarnations such as Tenpay, the competition proved too stiff, and the service was not widely adopted. Even Yixun, an Ecommerce platform Tencent has an 80% stake in was forced to accept Alipay to remain relevant in the Chinese landscape. However, Tencent is rumored to return to conventional online retail following its JD.com acquisition.
When WeChat began incorporating payments into its popular messaging application, the payment add-ons soon followed. Now WeChat not only supports payment between users, but also merchant payments solutions, taxi hailing and fare payments, vending machines, and recently added a Lucky Money feature for the Chinese New Year.
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Now the payment feature is open to all businesses interested in accepting WeChat as a payment method. Merchants can integrate the feature through APIs, and recent testing also showed purchases being placed directly from listings within WeChat.
Merchant application processing can taker up to 5 business days. Tencent offers both subscription based service accounts and standard service accounts. Subscription service accounts allow the merchant to push notifications and advertising to WeChat subscribers while the standard service account simply allows the merchant to accept WeCaht payments.