One of China’s big state-owned lenders has announced that it has become the first bank to integrate its QR codes with China UnionPay and WeChat Pay.
The Bank of Communications announced on 13 January that it had taken the lead in achieving the integration of payments functions via mobile phone scans of WeChat QR codes, following initial cooperation with China UnionPay and Tencent.
The initial trials for QR code integration have been launched in cities including Fuzhou, Ningbo and Jinan, with other cities to follow soon.
In future customers who use Bank of Communication’s mobile banking app will be able to complete payments via scanning “face-to-face” QR codes provided as part of the WeChat trials.
The “Fintech Development Plan (2019 – 2021)” (金融科技（FinTech）发展规划（2019-2021）年) released by the Chinese central bank in September 2019 highlighted the compatibility of QR code payments as a key goal.
The Plan called for “driving QR code payment compatibility, researching and formulating compatible barcode payment technology standards, unification of barcode payment coding regulations, establishment of a barcode payment technology system, overcoming the barriers between barcode payment services, and achieve mutual recognition and scanning of the codes of different apps and vendors.”
The move will greatly expand the volume of payments settings for Bank of Communication’s customers, as well as save vendors the trouble of switching codes to employ different payments channels.