(Yicai Global) Jan. 3 -- Bank card issuer China UnionPay and WeChat Pay, a third-party payment platform owned by internet giant Tencent Holdings, have struck a deal on QR code payments that enables users to transfer and spend money using the two firms' existing apps.
Shanghai-based UnionPay and Shenzhen-based WeChat Pay have fully linked their QR code networks, the 21st Century Business Herald reported. UnionPay's App Quick Pass and bank apps, including those of Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, Agricultural Bank of China, Bank of China and Construction Bank, can scan WeChat Pay's QR code for personal fund transfers or payments to vendors. The function will be gradually expanded from a pilot area to the whole country.
Regulators have been promoting the connectivity of QR code payment systems since last year. The People's Bank of China, the central bank, released a fintech development plan for 2019-2021 in September that proposed to study and formulate unified technical standards and coding rules, open up barriers to QR code payment services, and achieve mutual scanning and recognition between different apps and merchants.
With the popularity of mobile internet, QR code payment has become the main payment method for Chinese consumers. China's third-party payment market reached CNY51.9 trillion (USD7.4 trillion) in the third quarter, of which Alibaba Group Holding's Alipay had a 53.6 percent share, and WeChat Pay took 39.5 percent, according to data from market research firm Analysys.
Banks processed 27.3 billion mobile payments worth CNY86.1 trillion in the third quarter, up by 61.1 percent and 31.5 percent, respectively, according to PBOC data.
Editor: Peter Thomas