A digital gift card collaboration aims to bring cashless shopping to Chinese consumers in the U.S., streamlining their purchase experience by letting them scan their WeChat Pay wallet

With three million Chinese tourists shopping in the U.S. annually, foreign currency exchange provider Travelex decided to launch a pilot program with China’s dominant chat platform, WeChat, that simplifies making purchases for these consumers. Focusing on roughly 50 retailers initially, the initiative strings together Travelex and mobile gifting platform Swych to enable Chinese customers to do their stateside shopping via WeChat Pay.

Rather than charging for the service, Travelex is instead placing a minimum spend by funneling users to purchase digital gift cards through Swych. To use the service at participating retailers, customers purchase a gift card through the WeChat Pay app, and their WeChat Pay accounts will be immediately debited in their home currency. At checkout, the cashier will scan the barcode on the account to pay the retailer in USD.

If successful, the program could be expanded into other popular international destinations for Chinese tourists, who are expected to double their spend from $30 billion to $60 billion by 2020.

Travelex
WeChat
Swych


Lead image: customer using WeChat payment stock photo from humphery/Shutterstock

With three million Chinese tourists shopping in the U.S. annually, foreign currency exchange provider Travelex decided to launch a pilot program with China’s dominant chat platform, WeChat, that simplifies making purchases for these consumers. Focusing on roughly 50 retailers initially, the initiative strings together Travelex and mobile gifting platform Swych to enable Chinese customers to do their stateside shopping via WeChat Pay.

Rather than charging for the service, Travelex is instead placing a minimum spend by funneling users to purchase digital gift cards through Swych. To use the service at participating retailers, customers purchase a gift card through the WeChat Pay app, and their WeChat Pay accounts will be immediately debited in their home currency. At checkout, the cashier will scan the barcode on the account to pay the retailer in USD.