How Australian tourism businesses can win with WeChat Pay

Earlier this week, ASX-listed Novatti Payments announced that it had signed a deal with RoyalPay Australia, which will make it easier for Australian merchants to receive money through China’s most popular app, WeChat. The announcement has received a lot of media attention and saw Novatti’s stock price increase by 67% in one day. However, the real star of the story is RoyalPay Australia, a fintech start-up that in just a few months has helped over 300 Australian merchants start receiving payments via WeChat Pay. I believe that any business who wants to engage with Chinese tourists or Australia’s Chinese community should consider adding WeChat Pay functionality, and today I’ll explain how this process works.

How do Chinese tourists like to pay?

According to’s 2016 Chinese International Travel Monitor, UnionPay is still by far the most popular payment method for Chinese tourists. I’ve previously made this point: accepting UnionPay is absolutely the first step for any business that wants to attract more Chinese.


Once businesses have sorted their UnionPay acceptance, the next step – which will really make any business stand out – is accepting a mobile payment service. Mobile payment has become ubiquitous for China’s tech-savvy shoppers, with 99% of Chinese online shoppers now using mobile payment apps such as such as WeChat Pay or Alipay. Both of these technologies are are extremely popular among young Chinese, who spend more of their income on travel than any other demographic of Chinese outbound traveller.

Why WeChat Pay?

WeChat has already become a way of life for many Chinese, as I’ve previously written about. It is the favourite app for 46% of Chinese internet users, and as of June 2016, there were 806 million monthly active users of WeChat. In Australia alone there are more than 4 million WeChat users – way more than the number of people using Whatsapp (2.4 million).

This is a massive market of potential users, representing not just Chinese tourists but also all of Australia’s Chinese community, all Chinese international students and a substantial number of Asian Australians – as well as people such as myself who like all the added features of WeChat!

For any tourism business that wants to attract these 4 million customers, accepting payment via WeChat Pay could be your secret weapon. For instance, hotels could start receiving payment instantaneously for extras such as room service and upgrades, or tour operators could sign up and receive payment from Chinese tourists on the spot. For restaurants and retailers, having the WeChat Pay logo on the front door would gain the attention of all Chinese passing by, leading to increased sales.

How can RoyalPay help?

As the first authorised service provider of WeChat Pay in Australia, using a company such as RoyalPay is the only way Australian merchants can receive money via WeChat. However, that doesn’t mean their platform is expensive.

In fact, RoyalPay’s transaction fee for purchases is less than 2%. This is less than most transaction fees for Visa, Mastercard or American Express payments, and significantly lower than the transaction fees charged by PayPal. RoyalPay also waives any installation costs for setting up their payment system. Other features include:

  • Quick settlement time: approximately T+1 ~ T+3
  • Hassle-free currency conversion: WeChat allows users to pay in renminbi, which is converted automatically into AUD
  • Records of payments: Both customer and merchant receive notifications after payment is made, allowing for better account management
  • Easily integrated payment system: RoyalPay’s in-house system can be integrated with other payment systems and installed onto cash registers
  • Faster than online credit card payment: For online payments, a QR code can be generated for users to scan – much faster than customers having to enter their credit card details
  • Flexible payment options: either active (customer scans your QR code) or passive (you scan customer’s QR code)

wechat pay active v passive

wechat pay activewechat pay passive

RoyalPay also offers a range of other services, such as helping companies advertise via WeChat Moments (similar to Facebook Ads). In a future post, I’ll write a bit more about how Australian tourism businesses can use WeChat Moments to effectively target Chinese customers.

Want to target Chinese tourists and accept payment via WeChat Pay? Contact us for a free consultation today and we can help you get started. 

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