China’s WeChat enters New Zealand
1 August 2016
Life just got way easier for NZ’s 400,000 Chinese tourists as China’s WeChat enters the New Zealand payments market with WePay
WeChat is the app of choice for over 800 million Chinese users and has now partnered with New Zealand Company, Pure NZ Gateway Ltd, to provide local retailers with the ability to receive payments via WePay which is part of the WeChat portal.
WeChat provides functions like Skype, WhatsApp and Facebook all in a single app and already the new mobile wallet function, WePay has 400 million active users in China, processing over 500 million payment transactions per day. Users can pay for restaurants, travel, entertainment, utilities and can also transfer money to other users automatically in a function called ‘Red Packets’.
“The growth of WeChat in the last three years can only be described as phenomenal and we are honoured to represent WeChat in New Zealand. In particular the New Zealand tourism and service sectors are now highly engaged to offer WePay Payments as a trusted and convenient payment method for Chinese visitors” said Pure NZ Gateway CEO Mark Christensen.
“Users can purchase goods or services either over the counter in a retail environment or at a tourist attraction or they purchase online via our secure ecommerce gateway”. The benefits to the local merchant are significant when compared to traditional payment methods such as lower fees, near field marketing along with social marketing and communications access into a huge pool of customers”.
In a current campaign to promote the international use of the wallet functions and helping to support the NZ launch WeChat are providing users with shopping credits. At random users will be given credits back on New Zealand purchases throughout July and August.
“Aotea Gifts is excited to be the first retail company in New Zealand to offer WeChat Mobile Wallet with all now stores processing WeChat payments every day. This is a customer payment option of choice in China. It is imperative we provide what customers expect and are used to while they are in New Zealand. Travelling to a foreign country often creates a number of perceived risks; by incorporating a trusted payment system travellers are used to; helps alleviate this.” noted Donald Hanson, Aotea Gifts Director.
Julian Bottaro, Aotea General Manager commented; “Aotea Gifts is committed to providing the very best customer experience possible whether to a New Zealander, an Australian or any other country from around the world. Part of this experience is having payment options they are used to.”
“China is becoming an extremely important tourism market for New Zealand and as indicated in his recent visits to China Prime Minister John Key has set some lofty targets for in-bound Chinese tourism. Not only must we be ready in terms of infrastructure but we must provide transactions that are fast, trusted, convenient and secure for our Chinese visitors and students”. The company said.
WeChat’s Parent Company Tencent is the No.1 Internet Company in China with over 800 Million users, a market cap of US$200 Billon and over 30,000 staff. In 2014 and 2015 Tencent became China’s most valuable brand. There are already 170,000 local users of the app in New Zealand the app is available in 20 languages.
In a phased roll-out through 2016 Pure NZ Gateway will be adding to the WePay offering through providing digital content management systems to help New Zealand companies maximise the marketing benefits of the WeChat ecosystem. “The key for our company now is to ensure our merchants & retailers are ready for the 2017 summer influx” said Mark Christensen.