WeChat rolls out tuition payment service in South Korea

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China’s largest messaging app WeChat has rolled out a tuition payment feature for Chinese students studying in South Korea, according to a Tencent News report.

Why it matters: The move allows WeChat, run by Tencent, to further its ambitions in expanding its cross-border payment offerings overseas.

  • It is the first mobile payment platform to support tuition payment for Chinese students in South Korea, according to the report.

Details: The new feature allows Chinese students studying in 11 South Korean universities to pay for their schooling using WeChat’s payment platform, allowing tuition payments to complete “within minutes,” according to the Tencent News article.

  • The service is said to be more convenient and efficient than other traditional payment methods such as cross-border transfers. It also resolves the language barrier that often complicates the tuition payment process.
  • To use the service, Chinese students from the selected universities can visit the tuition payment website, log in with student identification number, and fill in relevant information.

Context: WeChat has been eager to tap into the lucrative cross-border payment market as more users can afford to travel, study, and live abroad. Currently, its payment service is available in more than 60 countries and supports 16 currencies.

  • In 2018, institutions such as University of South Australia and South Korea’s Hanyang University started accepting WeChat as a payment method. “The service is also currently available in Australia, Thailand, Hong Kong and Taiwan,” a Tencent spokesperson told TechNode.
  • In November, Tencent announced it was working with international card network operators including Visa and Mastercard to allow WeChat users to link international bank cards to the platform for mobile payments.

Updated: included comments from the company.