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WeChat brings mobile payments to bricks-and-mortar via POS integration

WeChat is positioning itself as a significant competitor in mobile payments via a partnership with point-of-sale system provider Givex that enables customers of merchants to pay in store by scanning a QR code appearing in the application.

The mobile messaging platform has made bold moves in mobile retail over the past year, and is becoming a leader in peer-to-peer payments and conversational commerce. The new integration will now bring its platform to a bigger bricks-and-mortar presence to compete with big players in mobile commerce such as Apple Pay and Android Pay.

“This integration gives businesses a compelling POS solution that improves operational efficiency and the customer experience by offering the convenience of WeChat payment,” said Bryan Wang, marketing director at Givex. “Widespread merchant adoption of WeChat-integrated technology is essential to its push into commerce.

“It only succeeds because of a critical mass of users wanting to pay with WeChat and businesses accepting it.”

Mobile commerce competition
Retailers are now allowing customers to pay at bricks-and-mortar locations through WeChat. Retailers with Givex’s Vexilor POS system will not need to install extra equipment, but will now immediately be able to accept the WeChat payments service through existing products.

The easy integration is a big difference from other mobile payment options in which retailers need to install new equipment such as NFC or EMV. Vexilor is a cloud-based system, so the update instantaneously enabled retail locations to start accepting WeChat after the program upgraded.

WeChat users will be able to pay at restaurants with portable tableside tablets, while product retailers will accept payment at existing POS workstations. The mobile messaging platform will generate a QR Code on users’ mobile devices, which will be able to be scanned at Vexilor POS devices.

The new payments service is already available for worldwide for retail locations equipped with Vexilor POS systems.

Winning on WeChat
WeChat also brought the Chinese custom of Lucky Money to New York pedestrians, enabling Times Square passersby to shake their smartphones in front of the billboards and have digital money placed in the messaging app’s mobile wallet during the Chinese New Year (see more).

Western Union also brought global money transfers to the forefront by enabling WeChat users in the United States to distribute funds to 200 countries and territories via the messaging service (see more).

“When it comes to new technology or even something like accepting payments, businesses usually find themselves constrained by their POS system,” Mr. Wang said. “Many times, restrictive POS technology requires merchants to make costly equipment upgrades before they can take advantage of the latest trends, such as linebusting, tableside ordering or even things like NFC or EMV.

“What is new and unique are POS systems developed with merchant needs in mind, allowing them to accept new forms of payment or engage the customer within their business in ways that enhance the service experience,” he said.