Foreign Tourists in Hainan No Longer Need Chinese Bank Cards for Digital Payments


The southern island province of Hainan has just launched a new trial scheme to facilitate the use of digital payments by overseas tourists.

The Sanya Dadonghai Tourism Zone Inbound Tourist Mobile Payments Demonstration Zone (三亚大东海旅游区创建入境游客移动支付示范区) was officially launched on 3 December.

Under the scheme inbound tourists from any country in the world are not required to open domestic bank cards in order to create mobile payments accounts for use within the Hainan Free Trade Port.

They will instead be able to directly use QR code scans via their smart phones for daily payments purposes in the same manner as domestic Chinese residents.

Inbound short-term visitors will be able to register one or multiple payment channels at their discretion upon arriving in Hainan province, such as the WeChat app, without the need to apply for a Chinese bank card.

A Hainan government official said that the move will “effectively improve the mobile payments services experience of visitors from abroad, and further drive the development of Hainan as an international centre for tourism and consumption.”

“This provides a bespoke solution plan involving multiple forms of payment to foreign tourists, and achieves the integrated application of multiple payments models including WeChat Pay, the digital renminbi and the UnionPay overseas wallet.”