Setting up WeChat Wallet

WeChat Wallet is even more useful and foreigner friendly than Alipay. Added bonus: if you have overzealous Chinese friends, you might already have money in your WeChat Wallet from the mania of the Chinese New Year tradition of sending Hongbao (Lucky Money). If not, maybe you need better friends.

Setting up your WeChat Wallet is fairly straightforward, you just need you name (as it is written on your passport and bank application), mobile number, and bank card number. The biggest issue our users have mentioned is that they can’t even find their Wallet.



If you don’t see a Wallet, we can only recommend the following troubleshooting tips: make sure you have the latest version of WeChat, change your system to Chinese and back to English, try using WeChat on a different device, check that you haven’t installed the international version of WeChat. The inside of your wallet should look like:


Click on Wallet in the top right corner to see your balance and linked cards:

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Select [Add a Card] to get started. Now, this process differs if this is your first time using WeChat Wallet or not, but you will need to establish a 6-digit payment PIN and enter your name at some point in the process. Afterwards, the general steps are entering card number, selecting which bank, and getting verification through your mobile phone. You phone number must be one that the bank has on record.

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So, what can you do with WeChat Wallet once you have a card connected to it? You can deposit and withdraw money (which they call “change” in Chinese and “Balance” in English).


Withdrawals are processed at the end of the day. Warning: some banks do not support withdrawals. If that’s the case, then you can give money to your friends through [Transfer]:


You can either send money to any “Friend” in Contacts list, or generate a QR code which your friend can scan in person to pay you (make sure you set the amount to charge your friend).

You can also add money to your phone (at a discount!!!):


WeChat (probably) knows your phone number and has deals with all the telecom operators to charge your account.

Finally, the coolest feature is that some stores accept WeChat Wallet. Keep your eyes open for a point-of-sale machine which will scan your phone when you click “Quick Pay.”




  1. Annette Thompson June 9, 2015 4:25 am Reply

    I enjoy your articles and am looking forward to using your services in the future.

    This tip for wechat wallet would be more helpful if you mentioned that this only works with the Chinese version of wechat, not the version of wechat available in the U.S. iOS App Store. There is no wallet option in our wechat app. :(

    Annette Thompson

    • admin June 9, 2015 5:29 am Reply

      Hi Annette, thanks for reading.
      Considering the Chinese version of WeChat has more than a dozen built in languages, I don’t know why Tencent is sowing confusion by introducing an international version with limited functionality and no clear indicator of the difference. I’m sorry you aren’t able to use wallet at this time, but I haven’t given up yet on getting clear answers for troubleshooting it.

  2. Roland Chen June 26, 2015 4:13 pm Reply

    I uninstalled my US version WeChat and installed the Chinese Version. It works (In Chinese language), then I switched to English, it still works. But if I exit the WeChat and come back it goes away. I went back to setting force stop WeChat and reopen the application, it works again !!!!!!!

    • admin June 27, 2015 8:39 am Reply

      Hopefully that does the trick, and you don’t have to repeat this everyday. Otherwise, WeChat is pretty manageable in Chinese for all of the familiar functions (i.e. you don’t really have to learn to read hanzi).

  3. SandSand September 16, 2015 5:20 pm Reply

    I have been using the wallet “hongbao” as a game with my friends. They give out “hongbao” and I collect them, and always very small amount, nothing over RMB 5. In return, I pass out “hongbao” from my wallet too. I haven’t link my wallet to any bank account or credit back because I have always had a small balance from the “hongbao” I collected from my friends. It was working fine all these times until a couple of days ago. I no longer can give out “hongbao” but the function of accepting is still fine. I was told my some friends that I need to link to a Chinese credit card, but I live in the USA, and I do not bank with any Chinese bank. Is linking to a Chinese credit card the only option to re-activate the “hongbao” function? And what are the other options? I appreciate your help with this matter.

    • admin September 19, 2015 4:41 am Reply

      After being fined by the Chinese authorities month after month, Tencent has been slowly rolling out greater enforcement of real name registration policy with requirements that users be ID verified join groups of certain sizes, or make a certain number or value of transactions. Real name verification requires you match your name, passport number, and phone number to a financial institution in China which has already filed your information with the government. So…
      … it sounds like you have a perfect excuse to accept hongbao and not return them.

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