A friend just came back from China. He told me that WeChat Pay (an app based electronic payment method) is so popular right now. If you haven’t heard of WeChat, it is the most popular chatting mobile app in China developed by the tech giant Tencent. This app has over 700 million monthly active users in March 2016, and the number is still growing.
Since WeChat Pay launched in 2014, it has penetrated into almost all of the businesses in China. From Didi taxi(Didi is an Uber-like online transportation network company, recently just acquired Uber China) to restaurant, even shoeshiner, they all accept WeChat payment.
This was unimaginable just a few years back. Look at Apple Pay and Google’s Android, who launched around the same time. However, they don’t look as successful as WeChat Pay even in the U.S.
As I talked with my friend, we both think the dense population is the main reason for WeChat Pay to be so popular. Almost everyone has the WeChat app on their smartphones, no matter Android or iPhone, in China. Electronic payment becomes so convenient to people. In this case, if businesses can set up electronic payment for customers, the payment processes can be much easier. In fact, since WeChat Pay got popular, sometimes when customers go to a restaurant, they don’t even have to talk to anyone who works in the restaurant. That made China one step ahead of the U.S. in electronic payment.
The dense population is a non-duplicable trait in China. The difference in the U.S. is, if you’re an Android phone user, you cannot use Apple pay; if you’re an iPhone, Android Pay will not be available. For a business to accept electronic payment, they’ll have to apply for both.
To bridge the gap, I can only think of one app right now that able to do so – facebook Messanger. If facebook can take advantage of the popularity of the Messanger app, it could create the next WeChat Pay like electronic payment system and dominate the U.S. market.
That’s my little thought for today.
Good night New York!