A customer pays his bill with WeChat Pay in Hong Kong. (WANG XI / XINHUA)
Tencent’s mobile payment platform WeChat Pay Hong Kong is still at an early stage and is making heavy weather of market expansion, Royal Chen Qiru, vice-president of Tencent Financial Technology, said on Wednesday.
He noted that e-commerce and “red packets” were the two drivers for mobile-payment development on the Chinese mainland but these did not work in the Hong Kong market.
WeChat Pay could extend its services in Hong Kong from the social-network side in future, said Royal Chen Qiru, vice-president of Tencent Financial Technology
“Convenience stores are on every street corner in the city and people can get whatever they want there rather than shop online. For Red Packets, we promoted it here before but the impact could not equate to that on the mainland,” said Chen.
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Hong Kong’s western-style financial system also inhibited expansion, as people were accustomed to credit and debit cards as well as cash.
Chen believed WeChat Pay could extend its services in Hong Kong from the social-network side in future, such as through features known as “mini program” and “official account”.
“We are still exploring the ‘sore point’ of Hong Kong’s mobile payment,” he added. “We will introduce more pilot schemes with local stores, firms and institutes for both Hong Kong and mainland users in the second half of this year.”
The cities’ payment market has become a battleground, with the expansion of Ant Financial’s Alipay and Tencent’s WeChat Pay – two mobile payment giants from mainland.
About 8 percent of Hong Kong survey respondents said they use WeChat Pay, while 15 percent use Alipay, according to the 2018 Hong Kong Retail Banking Satisfaction Study by JD Power, a global marketing information services provider, in March.
Chen said he would not comment on other mobile payment platforms. He said limited online shopping in Hong Kong might be one of the reasons, while WeChat does not have a mature e-commerce model.
“There is no need to care about the performance difference in these several months, as the mobile payment market in Hong Kong is just starting,” he added.
With the Hong Kong Monetary Authority set to launch the Faster Payment System in September, WeChat Pay would be able to link with debit accounts from more banks as the first group of platforms having access to FPS.
Chen expected to have more cooperation with other platforms such as Octopus based on FPS.
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