WeChat announced on Thursday that it has launched QR code scanning payment for public transportation systems in 11 Chinese cities.

WeChat’s passenger code is a payment method that supports offline payment, where passengers can take the bus first and pay afterward when they have stable internet connection on their smartphones. It only takes 0.3 seconds to scan the QR code, and the passengers are all set and can pay later.

The service is now available in eight cities, including Guangzhou, Qingdao, Jinan, and Hefei, and will be soon joined by three other cities like Shenzhen. The system, however, is not yet available in Beijing and Shanghai.

The QR code for bus payment in Guangzhou (We obscure part of the image for security reason. Image credit: TechNode)
The QR code for bus payment in Guangzhou (Image credit: TechNode)

The company said that the service will spare the hassle for the passengers when their bus card runs out of money, forget to bring them, or simply don’t have changes at hand.

Once users enable the QR code scanning payment method for public transportation, they’ll be given a QR code stored in their “Cards & Offers” section in WeChat.

The public transportation sector has appeared to be a new battleground for these major mobile payment players in China. Alipay, for instance, has launched similar QR code scanning service in Hangzhou and Wuhan. UnionPay, China’s payment service provider, has also joined with Guangzhou Metro to provide UnionPay’s QuickPass service for passengers to directly pass through subway gates.

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Timmy Shen

Timmy Shen is a technology reporter based in Beijing. He's passionate about photography, education, food and all things tech. Send tips and feedback to timmyshen@technode.com or follow him on twitter at...

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