Hey – would you look at that? WeChat is finally expanding its Wallet function to other countries other than China! It’s coming to Malaysia now!
Our friend Joshua from The Ideal Mobile is a member of WeChat’s pilot program, and that’s why he got to test the latest and greatest (potentially the glitchiest) functions available on the app first. I’m glad he is in the test program. Here are some of the things he found in his account, which gives us a pretty good idea on what to expect in the future.
Throughout his discovery, we bounced questions back and forth on how “ready” the Wallet feature is for its prime time here in Malaysia. To my surprise, TenCent’s got quite a lot of things covered already.
Yup, you can buy some airtime for all the prepaid telcos, including TuneTalk for that matter. Joshua also showed screenshots that AirAsia joined the bandwagon too, as there are domestic flight tickets that can be ordered from the app itself!
There are some other simple things that are made even simpler, like buying movie tickets for example. Currently there are only 4 cinemas in Selangor listed in the app itself, and I really hope more cinemas are going to be added in the instant future.
One big question I asked Joshua though, is how the wallet separates itself from other countries. I was hoping that it can dynamically convert between currencies to be used between China, Hong Kong, and Malaysia, but Joshua pointed out that there are 3 different WeChat Wallet IDs tied in to your single account. Bummer. At least they made it easy to switch between Wallet IDs though.
Source : The Ideal Mobile
[UPDATED]: We just got some insight on a potential release date!
So here’s the current information we got from our sources. It’s arriving sometime by the end of this year.
Why the delay? I’m not sure, but it seems like they’ve been testing for over a year now, and I hope that all of the screenshots shown above are real. Hopefully, they’ve grown the list of stores/merchants/banks to use WeChat Wallet too.
I mean, I seriously wanna do cashless, mang.
[UPDATE]: We’ve just received word that WeChat Wallet is currently in “early access”!
For those who are lucky enough, you’ll be seeing the WeChat Wallet feature in your WeChat account now! It’s now available for early access, which means it’s not available for everyone just yet. Seems like they’re on track with the “year end launch date” that we heard about a month ago.How do you
How do you know if you’re on the lucky list of early access users? Simple – head on over to your WeChat and tap on “me” at the bottom right corner. If you see “Wallet” there, then there is one possibility on why it’s appearing – you’re using WeChat Wallet with China region selected.
Head on over to change your region to Malaysia, If you can do it, that means you’re one of the WeChat Wallet early access for Malaysia!
Sadly, I’m not one of those lucky users – yet. If you are, do leave us a comment down below and describe your thoughts and potentially, your experience with it!
[UPDATE]: WeChat Pay comes early next year
Reuters just ran a piece regarding Tencent, the parent company of WeChat, saying this.
Tencent has made a “breakthrough” in gaining an e-payment license in Malaysia for local transactions, and plans a launch early next year, senior vice president S.Y. Lau said in an interview.
When exactly will we be getting WeChat Pay? I’m not sure, but for all we know, we have AliPay and WeChat Pay available soon. That’s excluding other local eWallet systems, too.
[UPDATE]: WeChat Wallet is now accepted in Malaysia!
Merchants – take note! Hong Leong Bank (HLB) is now accepting payments via WeChat Pay.
HLB just got an approval Bank Negara for the agreement between both Tenpay Payment Technology (subsidiary of Tencent, owner of WeChat) to provide WeChat Pay payment solution in Malaysia.
This effort will definitely boost the spending power of Chinese tourists who are currently using WeChat Pay in China. According to Domenic Fuda, Group Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of HLB, there are over 600 million active users in China alone.
Perhaps WeChat Wallet and WeChat Pay will come to us Malaysians soon enough.