Caixin
Aug 22, 2017 06:48 PM
FINANCE

Standard Chartered Expands China’s Mobile Payment Market Footprint

A sign welcomes customers to use WeChat Pay to pay at a restaurant in Guangzhou, Guangdong province. Standard Chartered said it has recently reached a cooperation agreement with Tencent Holding’s WeChat Pay. Photo: Visual China
A sign welcomes customers to use WeChat Pay to pay at a restaurant in Guangzhou, Guangdong province. Standard Chartered said it has recently reached a cooperation agreement with Tencent Holding’s WeChat Pay. Photo: Visual China

U.K. bank Standard Chartered has stepped up its game in China’s fast-growing mobile payment sector.

The bank said it has recently reached a cooperation agreement with Tencent Holding’s WeChat Pay, which links the lender’s domestically-issued credit cards to the popular third-party payment platform. The deal follows another cooperation between Standard Chartered and Alipay, another third-party payment platform, that started in 2012.

WeChat Pay and Alipay account for more than 90% of China’s nonbank online payment market.

“Chinese mobile payment services are developing rapidly, and have already been influencing global consumer business trends,” said Yamin Zhu, head of Retail Banking at Standard Chartered China.

“We look forward to working with leading technology companies like Tencent to offer even more benefits for our global clients, with financial innovation and the vitality of China’s financial sector,” Zhu said.

The deal helps bridge the gap between global banks and one of China’s largest payment platforms, and globalize the country’s $2.9 trillion mobile-payment market, where users are mostly locals, the British bank added. It didn’t say how much investment the tie-up with WeChat Pay will require, but added that the deal underlines its optimistic outlook of China’s cashless payment market.

Earlier, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Bank was the first regional bank to cooperate with WeChat Pay on online payment services.

Online monthly active users on WeChat, the messaging app that facilitates the online payment functions, rose 19.5% year on year to 963 million as of the end of June, according to Tencent’s first-half report released last week. WeChat users taking advantage of the app’s payment function contributed robust revenues to company’s payment services, Tencent said earlier.

Foreign banks have been content to tweak their China strategies in recent years and look for other opportunities from a domestic-dominant banking market in areas such as wealth management, structured financing and financial technology businesses.

Contact reporter Leng Cheng (chengleng@caixin.com)

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