In a major shift to its epidemic response policies, the Chinese government recently downgraded COVID-19 to a Class B infectious disease from Class A. Authorities also announced that on January 15, the strict pandemic control measures that have lasted nearly three years, including quarantine and nucleic acid testing, will end, which also means that Hong Kong and mainland China will soon resume customs clearance.
As one of the most popular digital mobile wallets in Hong Kong, WeChat Pay HK, a mobile payment platform under Tencent, welcomes the decision and anticipates a large number of Hong Kongers to visit the Mainland of China for family reunions, leisure and business travel. WeChat Pay HK users will be able to enjoy seamless, safe and convenient cross-border payment services in areas of travel, dining, shopping and entertainment.
The resumption of travel between Hong Kong and the Mainland of China is expected to boost demand in cross-border payments. WeChat Pay HK launched cross-border payments at the end of 2018, so Hong Kongers can now use their WeChat Pay HK wallet in the Mainland of China. Currently it supports more than 1 million merchants on the Mainland including popular F&B merchants, travel hotspots and transportation.
Meanwhile, all transactions done in Mainland China via the WeChat Pay HK wallet are exempted from handling fees and will see a favorable exchange rate that’s much lower than that of credit cards.
According to public figures, as of the end of 2021, five cross-border electronic wallets from Hong Kong and Macau have accumulated about 9.26 million transactions in the Mainland of China worth HKD1.5 billion. WeChat Pay HK is the first choice for Hong Kongers to spend on the mainland, accounting for 69% in terms of transaction volume and 76% in terms of transactions.
Daniel Hong, Vice President of Tencent Financial Technology, says, “As the first Hong Kong e-wallet to support Hong Kong users in the Mainland, WeChat Pay HK is optimistic about the resumption of cross-border travel between Hong Kong and the Mainland of China. By leveraging Weixin Pay’s connection to more than 10 million merchants in the Mainland, WeChat Pay HK is committed to further expanding its breadth and depth of merchant coverage in Mainland China so that Hong Kongers can fully embrace the Greater Bay Area Quality Living Circle. Meanwhile, WeChat Pay HK will continue to expand its footprint to more international markets to bring a more efficient, smooth and safe payment experience.”