WeChat Pay Launches “No Cash Day” In China to Boost Mobile Payments

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Chinese based third-party payment platform WeChat Pay’s mobile payment has rolled out its “No Cash Day” campaign this week to boost mobile payment rates, reports China Daily.

From August 1-7, the first payment made of the day by WeChat Pay’s users to any offline store (with a WeChat partnership), could have rewarded the user with a random cash prize up to $133 dollars (888 yuan).

When users use WeChat Pay to make payments on August 8, they can spend the accumulated money rewarded to them over the previous seven days. In addition to this, they have the opportunity to get a direct discount on payments.

WeChat Pay’s main rival, Alibaba’s Alipay, plans to spend over $15 million (100 million yuan) on rewarding its users.

From July 20 to Octover 31, Alipay’s users can receive a direct discount of less than $150 dollars (999 yuan) every time they use Alipay to make payments to offline stores.

Both of the offline mobile payment initiatives by WeChat Pay and Alipay were launched last year.

The number of offline stores cooperating with WeChat Pay in its campaign increased from 80,000 last year to 700,000 this year, following 2015’s success.

China’s third-party mobile payment market scale is experiencing a year on year increase of 111%, according to Chinese research firm Analysys.

The firm still cites Alipay as the leader in the mobile payment market, occupying 63.41% of the marketshare in Q1 this year, while Tencent Holdings Ltd’s Tenpay takes 23% of the market share.

WeChat Pay is an in-app payment feature of Tencent’s WeChat, which means it was launched by both companies in 2013. Its earnings contributed 84% of Tenpay’s mobile payment market share in Q1 this year.

The generalization of no cash payments was originally boosted by WeChat Pay, according to a report by donews.com. During the Spring Festival of 2013, WeChat Pay successfully used the Chinese tradition of sending red envelopes containing money as blessings to promote mobile payments to the masses.

WeChat targets those aged 23-29 years, as they are the main force for driving mobile payment in China.

A version of this appeared in China Daily on August 8. Read the full version here.