China's WeChat Pay mobile wallet has secured a partnership to launch the app in Italy next month, making it easier for Chinese consumers in that country to make online or in-store purchases with their smartphones.
WeChat says it has signed an agreement with Italian companies Digital Retex and DOCOMO Digital to launch the Chinese app. DOCOMO Digital is the European unit of global digital payment provider NTT Docomo, while WeChat parent company Tencent lists Digital Retex as a trusted partner.
The arrangement continues a trend for WeChat Pay in securing agreements in European countries to deliver services to Chinese visitors.
“We are proud that WeChat Pay will be available in Italy and across the main European destinations thanks to the agreement between DOCOMO Digital and Digital Retex," Ludovic des Garets, DOCOMO Digital's global head of sales and e-commerce, said in a Monday press release.
"Merchants will be able to use a single payment solution that will boost sales and satisfy, at the same time, the needs of Chinese tourists, who will use their favorite and quick method of payment to purchase goods," des Garets added.
Chinese consumers used WeChat for more than 1 million transactions per minute in 2017, the company stated.
Merchants can have either a dedicated POS or add WeChat Pay to the their payment systems, while customers will need only a smartphone and a WeChat account connected to their bank account to pay through the scan of a QR code.
WeChat says it has more than 980 million monthly active users and a market penetration of 93% in China's largest cities, operating as both a social media platform, and a place to surf the internet, purchase goods and pay online.
WeChat estimates that nearly 4 million Chinese tourists visit Italy each year.