WeChat is a Chinese chat app that goes beyond free messaging. While it is not as popular as Facebook is in the West, it has such great features and mini-apps that make it a necessity for those who use it.
There’s definitely more to this Chinese chat app than what meets the eye.
For the west, it is easy to think that this app is just like other apps like Viber, Facebook and WhatsApp. But in reality, it comes as a surprise with a total package. From messaging to ordering food and paying for utilities, WeChat provides its users with practical ways to manage their hard earned money.
Here are some of WeChat’s best features for cashless transactions.
1. Red Packets
The Chinese traditional ‘hongbao’ has entered the digital era through Red Packets. With the feature’s release last year, 14.2 billion red packers were sent in 24 hours. In a second, people were sending 760,000 red packets.
So how does it work?
According to Wikipedia, the app offers its users the ability to send money in the form of virtual credits. The money is then deposited in to a user’s WeChat Pay account, which can then be used for purchasing. It also allows withdrawals for the receiver’s convenience.
There are two types of envelopes, regular and group. While the regular red pack can be sent to individuals, the grouped envelop can be posted to a group chat, where the app can randomly assign amounts to each recipient of the envelop.
Talk about a lucky draw!
2. Go Dutch
Splitting the bill can be a hassle when you’re going out with friends. WeChat understands, so they added a feature that does the splitting for you.
Go Dutch is a feature that can be accessed through WeChat Pay. It’s pretty simple to use too. All you have to do is create a group then request compensation directly through it. You can handpick people in the group to send this message to, and even choose the specific amount of money each individual owns. These individuals would then get notified, and can also view payment details from other group members.
3. WeChat Pay
WeChat Pay is one of the features that have increased the app’s functionality for its users. With these features, all you have to do is to scan a QR code or the product, and it will then be automatically deducted on your bank account.
The feature offers five options for payment
- Quick pay – users can present pay codes that vendors scan to complete the transaction
- QR Code Payment – users scan unique QR codes and complete the transaction either by paying on the counter or going for the QR code ad. This is one of the most popular options for overseas Wechat e-commerce
- In-App Web-based Payment – users purchase through a WeChat store in their official accounts
- In-App payment – users make payment in other partner apps and WeChat app processes the payment
- PC/mobile web browser page – web page generates a code, which then gets sent to the Payment page and the user confirms the payment.
WeChat Moments is almost similar to Facebook News Feeds where everyone can share what’s going on in their days. Here the users have more control over who can view their feeds. While Facebook shows the comments in your posts, Moments is more strict when it comes to who can view comments. You cannot view comments if you’re not friends with that user, and people are generally good with this setup.
Moments have become so ubiquitous that people are turning to it instead of watching the news or searching Baidu, China’s answer to Google.
WeChat has proven itself to be an indispensable part of China’s daily life because of its practicality and ease of use. No wonder foreign brands are turning its eyes to it to take a peek into China’s Great Firewall.
So, what’s your favorite WeChat feature?