WeChat Pay and AliPay Address Concerns over Personal QR Code Obsolescence

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Digital payments platforms WeChat Pay and Alipay have sought to reassure widespread concerns over the possibility that personal payments receipt QR codes would become obsolete from the start of March.

Alipay said that its personal QR codes for payments receipts would still be effective after 1 March, while also touting the option of upgrading to its “personal business payments receipts code” (个人经营收款码) free of charge.

WeChat Pay also said that its personal payments receipt QR codes would remain effective from 1 March, while advertising the benefits of its own “personal business payments receipt code,” which provides a broad range of additional functionality.

The statements from the two payments giants arrive following the issuance of a public announcement by the peak body for the Chinese payments sector on 22 February, calling for the optimisation of QR code payments services and seeking to reassure concerns over QR code changes.

“There will be no suspension or closure of personal payments receipts codes that users originally hold, and their functionality will not change,” said the Payments and Clearing Association of China (PCAC) in the announcement. “We respect the right to know and the right to choose of consumers.”

PCAC also said that Association members would “further optimise the commercial environment and provide more targeted and convenient payments services,” via the addition of the “personal business payments receipts QR codes, for users to freely choose from.”

“Users who make use of the personal business payments receipt QR code will not see any reduction to services or changes to their user experience,” said PCAC.

“The code activation process will be free, and they will enjoy more efficient services in areas such as account transactions.”