Tencent’s WeChat Pay has introduced a payment service aimed at Chinese students who want to pay their tuition fees at universities in South Korea, according to reports. The move is an attempt to make it easier for those students to make cross-border transactions.
The new service is available on a central website for 11 universities, which include Dongguk University and Chung-Ang University. It is not known whether it will be available to more universities in the future.
Paying tuition used to be a difficult process, and involved exchanging yuan to South Korean won at a bank and then paying the university, noted the report. Now, the process is shortened to several minutes, according to Tencent.
Although mobile payments are very common in China, simple cross-border transactions are not. Tencent was reportedly talking to five different international card issuers about allowing cardholders outside the country to use WeChat Pay while they travel.
Rival Alipay has a similar functionality that allows tourists to link their own bank cards to its app.
In October, WeChat Pay launched a feature that would allow people to trade funds using just a phone number. WeChat customers can use the feature in the messaging app and send money to another user’s wallet by simply putting in a phone number, even if the two people aren’t connected on the app.
WeChat Pay also launched a cross-border mobile payment service for Hong Kong users to complete RMB-denominated transactions funded by Hong Kong dollars. The company also launched WeChat Pay Malaysia in August of last year.
WeChat Pay has more than one billion users. In 2018, it had a daily transaction volume of over one billion. It is also very popular with merchants; their usage grew over 80 percent year over year in 2019 through October.
“Payment is one of the key infrastructure platforms of the company, enabling us and our merchant partners to complete transactions for online and offline services,” Tencent said at the time. “We extended our market leadership as the leading mobile payment platform by active users and the number of transactions in China.”