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How to receive in-app payments from Android users in China?
Emma Lee
06/11/2020
Tagged with
payments/android

You have developed a perfect app and you plan to launch it to China app stores. Now an important question arises in your mind—can I use Google Play to receive in-app payment from my Android users in China? The answer is “NO, you cannot.”, because Google Play is not available in China.

In order to help Chinese customers pay easily and help international merchants receive money easily, cross-border payment service like WeChat Cross-border Pay and Alipay (for global business) are founded. This article will take WeChat Pay Cross-border Payment as an example, since WeChat is provided by Tencent, the biggest Internet company in China. Almost every Chinese have WeChat app and uses it every day.

What is WeChat Cross-border Pay?

WeChat Cross-border Pay is a payment mechanism that allows customers to pay goods or service in CNY and allows merchants to receive payment in their local currency from WeChat (Tencent). Whenever Chinese customers paid in CNY, merchants will receive a notice from WeChat Pay. Once the settlement funds accrue to 800 USD (or equivalent in other currencies), WeChat Pay will purchase foreign currency on T+1 day (within one working day) based on real-time rate from its cooperated banks and remit it to merchants’ accounts in overseas banks.

(Image from WeChat Pay Website)

How can Chinese customers pay me using WeChat Cross-border Pay?

WeChat Pay supports the following four payment modes for overseas vendors:

  • Quick Pay (used offline)

The customer shows his QR code or bar code page in their WeChat. Merchant scans the code and the transaction is automatically done.

  • QR Code Payment (mostly used offline)

The customer scans the merchant’s QR code, and enters the price and then password, then the payment is successful.

  • In-app web-based payment (used online)

Merchants need to register an official account first, and then their customers can purchase products and complete payment on a shopping page opened in WeChat.

  • In-App Payment (used online)

In-App payment is commonly used in online scenarios. App developers can integrate WeChat Pay SDK into their apps. When users make payment in other apps, WeChat will be authorized to process the payment. Once the transaction is done, the page will redirect to the previous app.

(Image from WeChat Pay website-In-App Payment case introduction)

Who will need WeChat Cross-border Payment?

(1) International Android app developers who want to receive payment from Chinese Android users, since most of their devices do not support Google Play.

(2) Online/Offline merchants who want to provide Chinese customers with an easy and friendly way to pay.

How to set up WeChat Pay for my business or mobile app?

  • Merchant Model (only available in UK, Singapore, Hongkong)

Overseas developers or merchants outside mainland China sign direct agreements and integrate WeChat Cross-border Payment directly; but currently, this model is only applicable in Singapore, Hongkong China, and the UK. The general application flow is like this:

1.Register on the WeChat Open Platform. Complete the developer application in the account center and wait until your application passes the audit.

2. Apply for WeChat Payment. You will be required to provide the enterprise information, business information and settlement account information.

3. After the staff of WeChat Pay reviews your application for WeChat Payment, an e-mail entailing your vendor account, your account name and password on Vendor Platform, and APPID will be sent to you.

4. Verify your settlement account and sign agreements with WeChat Pay.

5. Complete API integration with development resources.

6. Start using WeChat Pay to receive payments from your Chinese customers!

(An application page -merchant model)

  • Institution Model (other countries)

For app developers outside the three regions listed above, you can only choose institution model, where an institution with banking licenses in your own region is involved as an intermediary between you and WeChat Pay in both data and fund flow. As illustrated by the picture below, the payment will be settled to the institution first, and then the institution settles the fund to your account.

(Image from WeChat Pay guide video)

You will need to cooperate with an institution to integrate WeChat Cross-border Payment into your App, and you don’t sign agreements with WeChat Pay but with the institution. The steps are:

1. Verify your App on WeChat Open Platform.

2. Find a local institution in your region (check out this service provider list to find a suitable partner) and sign agreements with them.

3. The institution helps you apply for a WeChat vendor account and bind it with your APPID.

4. Start using WeChat Pay as an overseas merchant!

Alipay also supports multiple cooperation models, payment modes, currencies, and provides quick and safe payment. Visit their website to check out the user experience, workflow, application condition, and settlement mode. And you could contact them for more technical and business details. It is recommended that you register for both Alipay and WeChat Pay because both covers a high majority of Chinese.

If you are looking for a partner or an agent in China to help you release app in China app stores, maintain app in China app stores, test app in real China environment, register software copyright in China or register a company in China, please reach out to us at bd@apkchina.org or visit our website at https://www.apkchina.org/contact/index.html. Following are some other articles that you may be interested in:

-What is software copyright in China?Why and how to apply for software copyright?

-How to launch my app in China?

-How to make a mobile app appeal to Chinese users?

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