Tencent announced Tuesday evening that it will release the first batch of 1 million digital credit cards on its instant messaging tool WeChat together with China CITIC Bank and online insurance company Zhong An, shortly afterwards Alibaba announced a similar program on AliPay Wallet earlier the same day. This service is under internal testing and will be released very soon.

After entering WeChat’s My Bankcard interface, users can apply for the digital credit card by filling in personal information like, name, ID number and phone number.

The similarities and differences of AliPay’s and WeChat’s services are as follows:

1) Both AliPay and WeChat credit cards support online and mobile payments, but the latter also allows users to pay in the designated physical stores by scanning QR codes.

2) Both of the virtual credit cards save users from the troubles of taking care of physical cards and support simultaneous treatment of applications by leveraging credit data of applicants.

The approval process of AliPay credit card is backed by data from Alibaba’s proprieties and China CITIC Bank, while WeChat’s service is backed by data from Tencent’s services, China CITIC Bank and Zhong An, the joint venture of Alibaba, Tencent and Ping An. Moreover, Ping An, one of the largest insurance companies in China, and Zhong An will provide commercial insurance services to WeChat credit card users.

3) The credit line of AliPay’s virtual credit card starts from 200 yuan (about $32), while that for WeChat’s service is classified to three levels, 50 yuan, 200 yuan and 1,000 to 5,000 yuan depending on the online credibility of users. In addition, WeChat offers a 50 day interest-free period and pledged that no annual fee will be charged.

image credit: WeChat

Emma Lee (Li Xin) was TechNode's e-commerce and new retail reporter until June 2022, when she moved to Sixth Tone to cover technology and consumption. Get in touch with her via or Twitter.

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