Beijing Traffic Management Bureau announced on October 22 that it will add Alipay and WeChat Pay, two of China’s most popular mobile payment tools, to its online traffic security management platform, our sister site TechNode Chinese is reporting.
Since October 22, Beijing citizens in seven districts including Mentougou, Daxing, Shunyi, Huairou and Miyun will be able to pay their public transportation fines by scanning QR codes on the new fine bill through either Alipay or WeChat Pay.
Paying for traffic fine in China usually involves long queues at traffic departments or bank outlets or complicated payment through online banks. Over 68.2% of the traffic fines are being paid through offline channels, local media reported.
Automobile drivers can pay by scanning QR code on the fine bill within four hours after the bill is issued. The QR code will be disenabled once the payment is achieved. Those who failed to meet the time limit have to go back to the traditional payment methods. Instead of scrambling with cash, pedestrians or non-motor vehicles also can pay by scanning QR code generated on a mobile device.
While QR code-based mobile payment is ubiquitous in China’s offline retailing industry, it’s gradually finding ways to civil services as the government tries to keep up citizen’s changing spending behavior. Similar payment channels are already been supported in hospitals and for train tickets purchase.
Mobile payment for civil services is part of China’s initiatives to help local government digitalize their services and both Alipay and WeChat have been working on the trend. Alipay just begins issuing electronic marriages license and trialing digital IDs in Hangzhou and Quzhou in Zhejiang Province and Fuzhou in Fujian Province. Meanwhile, Tencent has been working with Beijing authority to create health cards for residents as well as a WeChat-based e-pass that would facilitate travels between Hong Kong and the mainland.