Tencent enables payment service on WeChat

Chinese Internet giant rolls out a payment service on WeChat to enable users to transact with selected merchant accounts on the mobile communications platform.
Written by Ellyne Phneah, Contributor
Tencent users can make online transactions with selected merchants including McDonald's.

Tencent is offering a payment service to enable online transactions for selected merchants via its mobile communication platform, WeChat.

According to a Xinhua News Agency report Tuesday, online transactions can be made through credit card, online banking or TenPay, which is the company's third-party payment platform which allows merchants to process payments from customers' personal accounts.

Since early-June, WeChat has enabled a selected number of registered corporate accounts to offer online shopping services, the report noted. Fast food chain McDonald's, for instance, is among the first batch of merchants to open up an online channel through WeChat where its followers can pay 3 yuan (US$0.49) for an afternoon tea discount coupon, and transactions are completed under the WeChat payment framework.

Tencent will also handle all backend technical integration and support for these merchants, including page design and payment linkups, Liu Sishan, the Chinese company's public relations officer said in the report, but did not reveal how Tencent charges the vendors.

The company has long indicated its goal to venture into the e-commerce area, but has been looking at ways to monetize its user base without charging for the app, the Xinhua report said. For example, it encourages WeChat users to scan codes at stores to purchase products and enjoy discounts.

Another Chinese social network Weibo, in March also launched an online payment service WeiboPay to translate its heavy Web traffic into revenue, according to a separate report by China Daily.

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