WeChat will be charging for its credit card payment service. It is likely that users will move to other free platforms in the future.
On 7 November 2017, WeChat management announced it would impose 0.1% fee on its credit card payment users. The term will come into effect from 1 December 2017. Users who max out the limit of RMB5,000 (US$767) per month will have to pay the imposed fee on the exceeded amount.
In fact, more than half of monthly credit card expenditure in China exceeds RMB5,000 (US$767). With the new fee imposed, WeChat Pay’s credit card payment users are likely to turn to platforms that are free.
Alipay is the closest and most popular competitor
The limit in transaction amount in Alipay varies among banks. For example, the repayment limit for China Merchants Bank credit card is RMB25,000 (US$3,832) per transaction. While the limit for Shanghai Pudong Development Bank credit card is RMB50,000 (US$7,664) per month.
By the end of 2014, more than 10 million users chose to manage their credit card repayment with Alipay. Alipay has 520 million users. It will be a popular choice for consumers who seek free credit card repayment platform.
Screenshots of Alipay’s credit card repayment service
Other platforms that provide free card repayment services in China
JD Financial launched the free credit card repayment service in 2014. Its repayment service is availability for 29 banks. The maximum limit for transaction is RMB30,000 (US$4,595) per day and RMB50,000 (US$7,658) per month. One of the perks lies in the occasional discounts gifted to users. Some users reported delay issues when using JD Financial for repayment.
Screenshots of JD Financial’s credit card repayment service
Credit card holders can also choose Baidu Wallet for free card repayment. Users can make a maximum of RMB50,000 (US$7,658) repayment per day.
Screenshots of Baidu Wallet’s credit card repayment service
Suning Financial also provides users with free card repayment service. It entered into partnership with 38 banks. The transaction limit is RMB40,000 (US$6,119) per day and RMB50,000 (US$7,658) per month. However, a lack of seamless synchronisation with the credit card system has been reported. This has downplayed the user experience of the application.
Screenshots of Suning Financial’s credit card repayment service
WeChat management aims to make profits through a new fee imposition for their credit card repayment service. However, the imposition of a fee may cost them a handful of users. With other compelling repayment platforms available, WeChat Pay users may eventually move on to other free options.