Wirecard brings WeChat to Europe

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Germany-based payments provider Wirecard is expanding its role in connecting Chinese tourists to European retailers through a new agreement with Tencent, operator of China’s popular WeChat mobile payment method.

Wirecard will provide technology enabling thousands of European retailers to accept both WeChat and Weixin, another Tencent app, so that millions of Chinese tourists visiting the region can make purchases in stores via a QR code, using a familiar app and paying in their home currency, Wirecard said in a Monday press release.

More than 2 million Chinese tourists visit Europe annually, spending on average about US$3,400 each, with purchases concentrated on luxury goods including apparel, jewelry, cosmetics and household goods, Wirecard said in the release.
“This collaboration is an additional step for us to offer retailers a whole range of alternative and classical payment methods with just one interface where other payment methods can be added regularly,” said Jörn Leogrande, Wirecard’s executive vice president of mobile services, in the release.

WeChat rival Alipay has been pursuing a similar path, using partnerships with payments providers, tourism agencies and airports to expand acceptance of Alipay in Europe and North America. Wirecard has worked with Alipay to enable acceptance in Europe since 2015, including with The Body Shop.

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