WeChat, an online messaging service operated by Chinese technology conglomerate Tencent, is looking to enhance its ability to facilitate employee expense reimbursements, and reports said the firm is exploring blockchain as part of the effort.
CoinDesk reported Friday (Aug. 10) that Tencent is piloting a feature that uses WeChat Pay data to inform employers when an employee has made a purchase. Employees that pay with WeChat Pay can automatically send that transaction data to their employers to be reimbursed.
The data would be transmitted using Tencent’s blockchain platform, the company explained, and said the capability could eventually address friction in the corporate expense reimbursement process and cut down on expense fraud.
According to reports, China’s current system of employee expense filing and reimbursement requires merchants to issue different receipts for business or consumer purchases. Employees must ask merchants for a special receipt with their employer’s taxpayer ID, which they can file for reimbursement.
The process means merchants have to manually enter that taxpayer ID when generating a receipt.
Tencent’s initiative would have merchants integrate the system to automatically send purchase data with the required information to employers when employees pay with WeChat Pay, reports noted. A few companies have already signed on to pilot the tool, including an auto repair center, a Tencent-owned restaurant, and a parking lot at Bao’An Stadium.
Last year, WeChat announced a partnership with corporate travel and expense management firm Concur, integrating the T&E tool into WeChat to facilitate users’ fapiao tax receipt needs. The fapiao system offers both proof-of-purchase as well as tax data necessary for businesses to comply with tax law.
Using WeChat, employees can send electronic fapiaos into the Concur Expense platform without manual data entry.