Alipay Vs. WeChat Pay: The Similarities And Differences Between These Two Payment Systems For Singaporeans
With Alipay's parent Ant Group poised to boost US$34 billion within the world's biggest IPO yet, the stage is set for mobile payment and fintech apps to take the world by storm, with Google Pay trailing far behind. Consumers within China use both Alipay and WeChat for everyday functions from buying groceries to buying financial products like insurance and investments. Outside of China, people across Southeast Asia have started Alipay and WeChat in order to facilitate commercial transactions with Chinese customers, including Singaporeans.
Here's what you ought to learn about Alipay and WeChat in Singapore.
Same Same But Different: Alipay May be the Chinese PayLah! While WeChat Pay Is The Chinese Apple Pay
Although it is common to see both Alipay and WeChat being offered together as mobile payment platforms at restaurants, retail outlets and holiday destinations, they are quite different with regards to the services they offer and just how people actually use them. For the purpose of this short article, we are talking about the International versions of both apps rather than the local Chinese version.
Alipay is essentially an e-wallet, similar to Singapore's PayLah!. You will have to reload the e-wallet before transferring money to merchants or friends via their cell phone number or personalised QR code. This lets you pay and receive funds to your Alipay account, with no need to link a China bank account towards the e-wallet. Singaporeans can now load and reload the e-wallet with an approved credit card such as VISA, MasterCard, JCB, Diners Club International and American Express (AMEX). Unfortunately, you cannot link the app up with a Singapore bank account, for example DBS, although it could happen in the future.
WeChat Pay, however, is really a mobile payment service that allows you to make payments charged directly to your charge card via your mobile phone, much like Apple Pay and Google Pay. This also implies that WeChat Pay users with no China bank account linked will not be able to receive funds to their WeChat Pay account since you need an active bank account for your funds to be properly credited.
Read also: Guide To Payment Solutions You Need To Offer Your Customers In Singapore
Supported Credit Cards
Internationally, the credit card schemes supported by both apps include VISA, MasterCard, JCB, Diners Club International, and American Express (AMEX), so you can now link your credit cards with one of these apps, that will prove useful especially if you don't have a Chinese banking account.
The service charge on Alipay is higher than WeChat Pay. Alipay charges a 5% service fee with every recharged amount, and users can load amounts from 500 CNY to 2000 CNY (~S$100 -S$400). WeChat Pay, on the other hand, charges a 0.35 CNY (that's ~S$0.07) service charge with every credit card linked onto its platform. There aren't any additional transaction fees.
Both Alipay's eWallet and WeChat Pay don't have in-app foreign exchange rates. Instead, the exchange rates are based on the loan cards linked around the apps.
Alipay's eWallet has a validity duration of 90 days as it's a prepaid wallet meant for tourists. Any unused funds left within the e-wallet is going to be automatically refunded for your linked credit card after 3 months (put through your credit cards' forex rates). WeChat Pay doesn't have expiration.
Read also: Beginners' Help guide to Cashless Payment Platforms In Singapore
Usage Of Alipay and WeChat Outside China Is Increasing
As Alipay and WeChat be available to users outside of China and more institutions and vendors start offering it as a payment solution, we might see more predominant adoption of Alipay and WeChat. Singaporeans who frequently travel around Asia may decide to rely on them weight loss Parts of asia are now offering robust payment integrations with Alipay and WeChat. When compared with newcomers towards the space like Google Pay, Alipay and WeChat tend to be more integrated with the Asian economic infrastructure, with countries like Thailand readily following a super apps to focus on the growing quantity of Chinese tourists. Chain restaurants having a strong China presence and outlets all across Asia, like Din Tai Fung or Hai Di Lao, will also be likely to offer mobile payment capabilities with one of these apps to be able to streamline their order flow.
With more financial integration happening between China and the world, both of these Chinese super-apps will continue to increase in usage and demand by many people countries in Asia. Singaporeans using Alipay or WeChat can continue to enjoy greater access and convenience when using contactless payment systems.