Alipay and WeChat Pay Announce Launch of Personal Business QR Codes

140

The peak body for the Chinese payments sector as well as the two leading digital payments providers in China have announced that they will launch new QR codes for personal businesses, in response to new QR code rules that are scheduled to come into effect at the start of March.

The Payments and Clearing Association of China (PCAC), as well as Alipay and WeChat Pay, simultaneously announced that they would launch new “personal business receipt codes” (个人经营收款码), in a bid to optimise QR code payments.

The announcements came following widespread concern amongst Chinese Internet that the big payments giants would replace the personal QR codes of individual users for payments receipt purposes, in response to new demands from Chinese financial regulators to better differentiate the QR code ecosystem.

In October last year the Chinese central bank issued its “People’s Bank of China Notice Concerning Strengthening Regulation of Payments Acceptance Terminals and Related Operations” (中国人民银行关于加强支付受理终端及相关业务管理的通知).

The Notice, scheduled to come into effect on 1 March, calls for providing commercial payments receipt QR codes to those individual users who engage in economic activity which is distinctively commercial in character, as well as improvements to payments services for personal business operators.

The Notice prohibits the use of personal QR codes for long-distance, non-face-to-face payments receipts, as well as the sale or leasing of QR codes, or their use as a top-up channel for gambling activities.