WeChat Pay made an announcement in Guangzhou on Thursday that it has made an investment of RMB 100 million (USD 15 million) to support the growth of WeChat Pay service providers. It is calling the investment project “Xinghua Jihua”, or spark project in English.
WeChat Pay, formerly known as WeChat Payment, service providers are third party developers with technological development abilities. They help offline stores introduce WeChat Pay, initiate deals and provide reconciliation services.
The spark project will focus on offering funds for operating expenses, material support and technical support to WeChat Pay service providers. They can receive operating funds up to a maximum of RMB 500,000 per month. For small- and medium-sized service providers who are still in their early stages, WeChat Pay will also offer support valued at RMB 10,000 to promote their growth.
According to the COO of Inspiry, Guan Heng, service providers are the bond between the payment platform and offline stores. Guan expects the spark project will give more access to service providers and stimulate their enthusiasm further.
Run by internet giant Tencent, WeChat has become China’s largest social network with 700 million monthly active users. Based on its large customer base, business opportunities through WeChat’s payment platform, which is a peer-to-peer transfer and electronic bill payment system, are expected to be tremendous. Data from WeChat shows that more than 300,000 offline stores have introduced WeChat payment so far, with over 300 million users. Additionally, more than 5,000 third party developers have registered as WeChat Pay service providers over the past five months.
Resource-allocation plays an important role in the competitiveness of the mobile payment market. A good service business system is conducive to the healthy development of a payment platform. With this in mind, Alipay has expanded its payment function to social and marketing areas, while Baidu wallet has formed cooperations with Baidu maps and group buying website Baidu Nuomi.
(Top photo from news.cableabc.com)