(Yicai Global) June 15 -- Shanghai Public Transport Card today unveiled a service that allows bus passengers to scan a QR code to pay their fare. The service will debut on a mini app on Tencent Holdings popular WeChat messaging and payment platform, state media The Paper reported.
Passengers using the new service are eligible for fare discounts if they continue to use public transport within two hours of their bus ride. Some 2,000 buses in the city accept such payment as of today, with the number set to rise to 5,800 by June 30. QR code payment is expected to be accepted by buses across the city by the end of October in the runup to the China International Import Expo which convenes in the eastern megacity in November.
The most important feature of the new service is that it allows riders to use it without having to download the app or adding credit to their wallet in advance. They need only search for the Tencent ride code mini app on WeChat and activate the service. The ride code will automatically appear in their WeChat Wallet function thereafter. Riders using the service can scan a QR code via the messaging app. Public Transport Card will also actively promote the service in the city's subway, ferry, city railway, taxi and other public transport areas.
The mini app has already activated in over 60 cities, including Shenzhen, Qingdao, Jinan and Chongqing since its advent in Guangzhou last July. Internet giants such as Tencent Holdings and Alibaba Group Holding are locked in fierce competition over payment interfaces in the public transport mobile payment field. Shanghai buses do not yet accept Alibaba's Alipay. Pony Ma, Tencent's chairman and chief executive, attended the signing ceremony for the partnership between his company and Shanghai Jiushi (Group), parent of Shanghai Public Transport Card.
Editor: Ben Armour