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:
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.
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.”