Living in China

How to: Using WeChat Pay to Simplify your Daily Life in China

If you have been in China more than a day, you probably have WeChat on your phone by now. But, it’s much more than a social sharing and messaging servicing, it can really simplify a lot of necessities in China daily life.

for foreigners, WeChat Pay can simplify a lot of daily tasks such as buying Mobile Recharge/Top Up, ordering a taxi via Didi Dache, buying tickets and importantly, in your circle of Chinese friends, Lucky Money and the infamous Hongbao.

What can I do with WeChat Pay?

Some of the services offered via Wechat Pay:

  • Order taxi (Didi dache)

  • Mobile Top Up

  • e-commerce

  • Money transfer to other WeChat accounts

  • Go Dutch

  • Dianping – the group buy site for eating out

  • Movie ticket booking

  • Air ticket booking

  • Financial products

  • Lottery

  • Charity donations

Where to find WeChat Wallet?

At the bottom of screen click on ‘me’ then click on ‘wallet’

How to add a new bank card?

After clicking on “Wallet”, then at top right click on “Bank Card”, then you will see the option for “add a card”.

You will be prompted to enter your card details: enter your card number, personal details and phone number.

Especially for Chinese bank accounts, you must enter your name exactly how your bank has entered it into into their system. That means, you may need to try upper case, lower case etc. Try to check against your bank documents. Same goes for ID and card numbers.

If that goes well you’ll be sent a security code via SMS, for phone verification.

If that goes well, you’ll be able to setup a 6 digit security number, which you’ll need to enter to approve a payment from the system.

Which banks can I use with WeChat Pay?

Using Major Chinese banks (via

  • China Merchants Bank: possible with both debit and credit cards

  • Agricultural Bank of China: only for credit cards

  • All Mastercard, Visa and JCB cards: possible

  • All other banks (including Bank of China, ICBC, etc…): require Chinese ID

More (via

Overseas Cards (can be setup using passport as ID, apparently)

  • American Express Credit Card
  • JCB Credit Card
  • Mastercard Credit Card
  • VISA Credit Card

Now, with any luck, you’ll be able to join the Hongbao fun, top up you mobile and start paying 40 for movie tickets instead of 150. Enjoy