Can I use and accept Alipay and WeChat Pay in the UK? Yes! Here’s how

January 7, 2022

Can you use Alipay or WeChat Pay in the UK? Absolutely. In fact, if you are a UK retailer in a tourist area you may be missing out on sales if you just accept just bank cards, credit cards and debit cards.

Research by JGOO found that over 90% of Hong Kong and Chinese tourists use WeChat Pay or Alipay as their main online payment and point of sale (POS) payment.

Other studies support this and highlight how many Chinese consumers would prefer to use mobile payments for purchases if they could.

By offering a range of alternative payment methods you are reducing the barriers stopping customers from making a purchase. This increase will your sales and revenue.

If you are a business that would like to accept Alipay and WeChat Pay, getting started is simple. This article will show you how you can get even more Chinese visitors into your store to buy more products.

What is Alipay?

Alipay is the most popular digital wallet in Asia with over one billion active users across mainland China and the world. Alipay offers a range of payment services including offline QR code and e-commerce payments.

QR code payments are the dominant form of payment in China with over 80% of customers regularly using them to buy products.

Alipay forms a large part of that market by offering offline instant payment solutions which allow merchants to collect money through scannable barcodes.

Accept Alipay and you will provide your Asian and Chinese customers with one of their favourite ways to pay.

Alipay QR code statistics

What is WeChat Pay?

WeChat Pay is a part of WeChat, a social media company that was launched in 2013 to connect friends and family.

WeChat payments have exploded in popularity in recent years. They act as a digital wallet that connects users bank accounts to their WeChat accounts.

WeChat Pay is extremely popular in China and it is rare to find a shop, bar or restaurant with a sale system that doesn't accept these store payments.

With over 1 billion users across the world, if you want to target the Asian and Chinese demographic, it is essential that you accept WeChat Pay.

WeChat Pay QR code statistics

Why accept WeChat Pay and Alipay?

Increase average spend

A number of studies show that customers spend more on cards when compared to cash. With cash, customers are far more conscious of going over the amount they have in their wallets.

If you are targeting foreign tourists it is likely that they will be carrying a lot of cash. Offering Alipay and WeChat Pay will remove any restrictions and encourage them to spend more in your stores.

Reduce checkout times

Paying with a digital wallet like WeChat Pay or Alipay takes just seconds. You will be able to process a lot more transactions, especially when compared to cash.

With digital wallets, you can increase the number of purchases made per hour to maximise your sales and increase revenues.

Improve customer experience

By offering all of your customer’s favourite ways to pay, you are creating the perfect overall shopping experience that will keep them returning.

With digital wallets, you can also reduce queues by creating a speedy checkout. This will ensure no sales are lost through long winding queues.

How do customers use WeChat Pay and Alipay?

Alipay & WeChat Pay QR code statistics

Paying through WeChat Pay and Alipay takes just seconds.

  1. The customer scans the QR code on your merchant phone.
  2. They are taken to a payment page where they confirm the transaction.
  3. The transaction is completed and the customer is sent a digital receipt.

How do I accept WeChat Pay and Alipay?

Apply directly

If you would like to accept WeChat Pay and Alipay as a payment method your first choice is to partner with them directly and download the WeChat app/Alipay app. 

This involves registering with the payment provider, creating an Alipay/WeChat account and integrating the product into your business.

This may be problematic however as you will need a Chinese bank account for Alipay and the registration process can take as long as 7 to 14 days.

You’ll also need to complete the registration and new agreement process for each one which will take some time.

Use an acquirer

Alternatively, you can use a third-party digital payments company like us at Pomelo Pay. We offer a variety of payment options, quick registration and low payment processing fees.

Why use Pomelo Pay?

Over 25 payment options

Signing up to a payment platform like Pomelo Pay will allow you to integrate not just WeChat Pay and Alipay but also more than 25 other payment methods. You won’t have to formally register with multiple companies, all you need to do is integrate Pomelo Pay and you can accept Google Pay, Visa, Mastercard, Apple Pay, Klarna, BitPay and many more.

Quick registration

Once you have contacted Pomelo Pay you won’t have to wait long. We aim to get accounts set up and running within 24 hours. You’ll be able to accept WeChat Pay and Alipay instantly on your smartphone and won’t need to wait for any hardware or connect any APIs yourself.

Low fees

We charge just one flat fee for every transaction which is 1.49%. Whether you process 20 or 2000 transactions a day, you pay the same processing fee. All of our other financial services such as invoicing, tap to pay and payment link features are free to use at no extra cost.

Easy integration

Alipay and WeChat Pay work through QR codes. This means you don’t have to operate any card terminals or modify your existing point of sale to get paid. Once you have downloaded the Pomelo Pay app you can use it to show QR codes that customers can scan. So once you have opened an account, you can begin accepting payments immediately.

Currency exchange

We make cross-border transactions simple and easy. If your customer uses a Chinese bank account we'll convert the amount into CNY/yuan for your customer while you will receive the money in GBP, USD or whichever currency you prefer.

Would you like to accept Alipay and WeChat Pay? Get in touch with us at Pomelo Pay to get started.