The contest in China’s mobile payment bazaar is becoming stronger with the standardization of China UnionPay’s quick-response program know-how in December last year. The one-on-one digital hongbao battles between the two leading companies WeChat and Alipay for the duration of the Spring Festival holidays offers one piece of proof. Behind the fierce territory war, both of the companies have broader goals, including making tailored monetary products centered on their pools of big data. Very soon, the platform will also be subjected to tauter guidelines.
For the period of this year’s Spring Festival, 46 billion electronic hongbao as recorded were sent and received through Chinese mobile societal platform WeChat, which is run by Tencent Technology Co.
Early market candidates comprising WeChat and Alipay, which are powered by Tencent and Alibaba correspondingly, have advanced swipe-and-go payment schemes centered on QR (quick-response codes). The two firms, which together device more than 70% of the bazaar, have struggled to secure their principal location by spending heavily on concessions.
This is not the first time that China’s UnionPay paced up exertions to hit the mobile payment souk. In December 2015, the bank card overtone trolled out its NFC (near-field communication)-based Quick Pass mobile payment feature, which allows users to make payments by hitting their smartphones touching payment stations.
However, UnionPay still positions an opportunity in the mobile payment market since its technology is securer and more reliable. Presently, UnionPay and the commercial panels have a ‘weird bedfellows’ connection.
Head-to-head against WeChat’s hongbao-grabbing activities during the Spring Festival, Alipay continued last year’s collection of five good fortune games with the introduction of augmented reality technology. Participants can split a 200 million yuan prize by scanning the street-side “fu” signs, or the Chinese character of fortune, that are ubiquitous during the holidays.
To attract users, the two digital wallets are also locked in a competition for offline payment points for businesses such as restaurants, supermarkets and department stores. Therefore, both platforms turned to third-party services providers who specialize in “offline promotion” and merchants services for potential offline business growth.
In the near future, the country’s third-party payment market will face greater regulatory control. The new regulation that requires third-party payment companies to deposit clients reserve funds in bank accounts that do not generate interest. The new rules are intended to ensure institutions do not put the money into “risky” financial services. It is expected to takes effect in April.