I’m sure you’ve all heard of WeChat and have managed to set up your account. However, for many of you, it may have ended there. Finally, after years of feeling left out of the loop, us “Wai Guo Ren” (foreigners) can saunter up to a till point and nonchalantly wave our phones at the cashier. Has anything been more thrilling than this?!
The Chinese company Tencent announced today that it will be accepting international bank cards as payment through WeChat wallet, meaning you no longer have to go through the hassle of opening a Chinese Bank account. This guide will help you to achieve your dreams of scanning and paying!
A Step By Step Guide to add your Bank Card to WeChat Wallet:
Select the “Me” icon from the bottom menu in WeChat and then select the “Wallet” option.
Select “Cards” from the top menu.
This screen may be different for some of you but essentially you want to select “Add a new card.”
With this being China, you can either snap a quick pic of your card or manually enter your card number.
After this select your bank card. If your bank doesn’t appear go ahead and select Visa or Mastercard (whichever one is applicable) and then credit card (even if it’s a debit.)
You will then be asked to enter all you personal details in the following menu.
Good to know:
If your region is not shown, enter your closest city, and for your phone number it’s up to you whether you use your international or Chinese number!
After entering these details your card should be connected to your WeChat!
In some cases this doesn’t allow you to transfer money from your bank account to WeChat or pay with you bank card. However it does allow you to receive money from others, so I’m sure you can ask your Chinese friends to help out if you give them some cash! Then they can transfer you the equivalent value so it’s available for you to use on WeChat!
For international payments, we always recommend using TransferWise. They’re cheaper than the banks, because they always use the real exchange rate – which you can see on Google – and charge a very small fee. They’re also safe and trusted by over 2 million people around the world. You can sign up here.
Blog written by Leo Wang
In most of China’s cities you can pay the bills by using credit or debit cards and also the internet banking has been developed for many years. Since smart phones were invented 8 years ago, mobile phone banking is another convenient way of paying. But that’s not all: the Wechat wallet and Alipay now became a very important part of young Chinese people’s life.
According to the news, Denmark will become the first country to stop using cash and Wechat declared the 8th of August as the “non-cash day”
Personally, I am a big fan of using the Wechat wallet, Alipay, MI wallet and other internet banking possibilities to save the time of searching for money in your bag or wallet and getting change, to avoid receiving fake notes, taking too much cash at once (not safe), taking too little cash (not enough for expenses) as well as finding ATMs and waiting in the line to withdraw cash. And Last but not least to avoid getting in touch with germs from bank notes.
This is why I decided trying to live a day without cash and here is my report of the day:
Bus: bus card
Taxi: Di Di Da Che, Uber and Shenzhou
Food and drinks
A lot of restaurants, Cafe, Fruits shop and bakery have signs at their doors that they welcome using Alipay or Wechat Wallet
Shopping online or in shops, super markets
Credit cards, Alipay or Wechat Wallet
Charging phone credit:
Just one thing failed – and it was breakfast.
In the morning I always go to small breakfast restaurants. They are so delicious! Each breakfast meal costs about 5 RMB. But here comes to tricky part: the small restaurants don’t accept the Wechat or Alipay option to pay the bills. So I had to use cash.
However, there is a solution for not using cash yourself to pay the bills in a restaurant which doesn’t accept Aplipay, Wechat pay or credit card. Just transfer money to your friend or colleague via Alipay or Wechat wallet and voilá, they pay in cash for you 😀
If you also want to experience a cash-free day with Leo in China – apply now!