WeChat Pay Is Coming To Malaysia Next Year. Here's What You Need To Know
Tencent, the company behind WeChat Pay, has obtained an e-payment license to operate in Malaysia.
Alipay will see its biggest competitor entering the Malaysian market next year
Users in Malaysia will be able to link their local bank accounts to WeChat Pay and pay for goods and services in ringgit
At the time of announcing the application for the license, Grace Yin, director of WeChat Pay explained that the choice of Malaysia as the first overseas market stemming from the fact that "Malaysia has a large Chinese community".
Tencent didn't reveal a clear timeline as to when the service will be launched next year.
Malaysia will be the first country out of China to get the service
Tencent's senior VP S.Y. Lau told Reuters that Tencent had chosen Malaysia because there are 20 million WeChat users and the local market is more welcoming towards Internet products from China.
Lau added that the company is "not in a hurry" to speed up the expansion process as there's still much to be done in China.
Hong Kong is currently the only location outside mainland China where WeChat Pay and Alipay offer the local payment service - for local transactions denominated in Hong Kong dollars.
But it won't be an easy task for Tencent as Alibaba's Alipay, a similar e-wallet service that allows cashless transactions, has made its foray into Malaysia in June this year
Alipay has partnered with Maybank, CIMB, Genting, and Public Bank to introduce cashless payment via the e-wallet. According to local tech news site SoyaCincau, Alipay is currently available for tourists visiting from China only.
We reckon WeChat Pay will have a smoother roll-out process than its competitor as the service will be integrated into the WeChat messaging app. With 20 million users under its belt, the service will gain traction in no time.
The potential launch of WeChat Pay comes after news of Tencent surpassing Facebook in market value
Do you think WeChat Pay will be well received by Malaysians? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below.