An Expat's Guide to Mobile Pay in Guangzhou

Updated: Oct 9, 2023 GFAO Print
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As China becomes more connected with the world, an increasing number of foreigners are coming to Guangzhou for various reasons such as family reunions, travel, education, employment, and long-term stays. Living here has provided them with a new perspective on China's mobile payment systems. Whether it's hotels, restaurants, grocery stores, or shopping malls, two types of QR codes are commonly used for everyday transactions: the green QR code for Wexin Pay and the blue QR code for Alipay. With a simple scan of these QR codes, payments are processed within seconds. The convenience and efficiency of China's mobile payment system greatly enhance our daily lives. However, the widespread adoption of mobile payments has led to a reduction in the use of credit cards and cash exchange, which can be baffling for foreigners who haven't yet gained access to China's mobile payment services.

Foreigners who wish to explore mobile payment options may be curious about whether they can link their overseas bank cards to these services. In Guangzhou, a bustling business hub with a rich history, the answer is undoubtedly yes! Here are some valuable tips for foreigners on how to set up Wexin Pay or Alipay accounts using their overseas credit cards. (Please note that the following information is sourced from public websites, and any future updates or changes should be verified on the official Wexin and Alipay websites, as they reserve the right for the final interpretation.)

Firstly, let's outline the types of bank cards that are compatible with Wexin Pay and Alipay:

1)Bank cards supported by Wexin Pay:

Wexin Pay is compatible with overseas credit cards, including Visa, Mastercard, JCB, Diners Club, and Discover. Once linked, your Wexin Pay account can be used for making payments by simply scanning QR codes. However, it's important to note that features like transfers and Red Packets are not available for foreign credit cards.

2)Bank cards supported by Alipay:

Alipay also accepts overseas credit cards, including Visa, Mastercard, Diners Club, and Discover. Once linked with your Alipay account, these cards can be used for daily transactions, though certain features like transfers are not supported.

For specific details, please refer to the prompts that appear during the payment process.

A helpful tip to keep in mind: The name on your credit card must match the registered name on your Wexin or Alipay account for successful linkage and transactions.

Steps of setting up Wexin Pay/Alipay with overseas bank cards:







Besides using Alipay account with overseas credit cards, you can also scan to pay in China's Mainland through AlipayHK (Hong Kong SAR, China), Touch'n Go eWallet (Malaysia),  Kakao Pay (Republic of Korea), mPay (Macao SAR, China), Hipay (Mongolia), Changi Pay (Republic of Singapore), OCBC Bank (Republic of Singapore), Naver Pay (Republic of Korea), Toss Pay (Republic of Korea) or TrueMoney (The Kingdom of Thailand).

Dear friends, you are warmly welcomed to try how efficient and convenient mobile payment is !

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