SHANGHAI: Tencent Holdings Ltd has applied for a license in Malaysia to offer local payment services via its WeChat Pay, in what would be a first for the platform outside of China, the director of WeChat Pay’s global operation told Reuters.
If approved, users in Malaysia will be able to link their local bank accounts to WeChat Pay and pay for goods and services in ringgit.
“Malaysia has a large Chinese community,” Grace Yin said on the sidelines of a Hong Kong technology conference, explaining Tencent’s choice of test bed.
WeChat Pay and Alibaba Group Holding Ltd’s Alipay are turning China cashless by enabling payments or money transfers at the convenience of a code scan.
The pair are also expanding internationally in tandem with outbound tourism, getting more businesses to accept their services which allow users to make payments using bank accounts in China without complications posed by currency exchange.
Licenses for such cross-border payments differ from those required for local payment services. Hong Kong is currently the only location outside mainland China where WeChat Pay and Alipay offer the local payment service for local transactions denominated in Hong Kong dollars.
Alipay introduced a separate app for the Hong Kong market in May, its first non-yuan app.