Bosses at Tencent brand WeChat Pay identified Europe as the next key growth market for the platform, with plans to expand the number of retailers on the continent able to accept its transactions.
The company has already signed a number of deals in Europe with merchants popular with visitors from China including Paris department store Galeries Lafayette Haussmann and shops in Heathrow Airport.
In April 2019, the number of retailers in Europe offering the service was 3.5 per cent higher than the same point in 2018, it added.
Talking-up its growth potential, WeChat Pay senior director Dave Fan said: “Together with our global partners, we hope to extend the convenient experience of WeChat Pay overseas, so that global businesses can share the dividends of China’s growing outbound travel market.”
The company quoted figures showing Europe accounts for 11 per cent of overseas tourism by Chinese nationals.
This number, it added, offered retailers growth potential if they could improve communication channels.
The WeChat brand, which also provides messaging and other online services, has 1.12 billion active users with 800 million of these using its payment system. Users are able to make cash transfers and pay for goods within China, along with selected merchants in 49 other destinations.
Global acceptance for WeChat Pay is one of Tencent’s long-term ambitions for the platform, alongside upgrading the shopping experience; promoting use of self-service multi-language terminals in retailers; increasing adoption of in-store AI solutions and provision of other overseas facilities such as consular services.Subscribe to our daily newsletter Back