WeChat – One App for Everything – Part 1

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Written by Daryll Tan

Imagine having only one app on your phone. Order and pay for your meals, pump your petrol, and keep up with your friends within a single app. As the saying goes, ‘if you can dream it, you can do it’, WeChat has since made this the norm in China, and is striving to do the same in Malaysia.

WeChat first came on the Malaysian scene as a mobile-messaging app in 2012. Since then, it has expanded its services to become an e-wallet, search engine, blogging site, and newsfeed, among other things, all rolled into one. It has amassed over 20 million users in Malaysia, and shows no signs of slowing down.

WeChat officially joined the battle of the e-wallets in August 2018 with WeChat Pay. Malaysia, which has been touted to be ‘the springboard for WeChat Pay’s South East Asian expansion’ (https://www.theedgemarkets.com/article/msia-springboard-wechat-pays-sea-expansion), became the second country to have WeChat Pay enabled in the local currency.

Here’s how WeChat Pay plans to stay ahead of the crowded e-wallet scene in Malaysia:

  1. AI Payment Service for Petrol: More than 200 Petron service stations have implemented WeChat Pay. Users just have to select a petrol station, the amount of fuel, and once they arrive at the kiosk, a camera will detect the car’s license plate to activate the pump. Basically, petrol purchases can all be done in-app, with no human intervention.
  2. Digital Vending Machines: WeChat has announced plans to launch vending machines that work solely with WeChat Pay, utilising the QR function to avoid the hassle of rummaging for loose change.
  3. Smart Order: Mamaks and cafes are a key aspect of Malaysian culture; so naturally, WeChat seized the chance to tap into the market. All users have to do is scan a QR code that will be on the table, select their desired food items off the in-app menu, and pay via WeChat Pay. The order will then be delivered to the table. Since its announcement in June 2019, there are more than 50 participating establishments.

For businesses, WeChat Pay works seamlessly as it only requires the user to display and scan their QR code, then enter their payment PIN on their mobile device. The inception of the new services not only reduces the need for human intervention, it encourages more patrons to make purchases due to its convenience, and WeChat is a known pioneer of convenience in their app. Click here to continue WeChat – One App for Everything – Part 2

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