KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 25 — If you’re travelling overseas, typically you would either exchange your cash for foreign currency or use your credit, debit and prepaid cards. However, for mainland China, the payment situation is very different as QR code payments are the primary mode of payment.
Credit card acceptance is still very low and most merchants no longer accept cash in China. Even if you could find a merchant that accepts cash, you would have to provide the exact amount as not all would be able to provide the change.
If you’re a Malaysian making a trip to China, here’s how you can make QR payments like a local with Touch ‘n Go eWallet (TNG eWallet) and Alipay.
Under its cross-border partnership with Alipay , TNG eWallet is among the 10 supported foreign wallets that are accepted in mainland China. — SoyaCincau pic
Using Touch ‘n Go eWallet in China
Under its cross-border partnership with Alipay+, TNG eWallet is among the 10 supported foreign wallets that are accepted in mainland China. This means you can use TNG eWallet to make cashless payments at over 10 million Alipay merchants in the country. There’s no need to do any currency conversation as your payments will utilise your TNG eWallet balance in MYR. You can still top up your TNG eWallet while in China but we recommend that you reload in advance before you travel.
Scan QR Code (User scan Merchant code)
If a merchant displays a QR code, the process is similar to scanning a static TNG eWallet or DuitNow QR code. Here are the steps:
Launch the Touch ‘n Go eWallet app, tap on ‘Scan’ and scan the QR code.
The app will then load a page in Chinese which will require you to enter the amount in CNY (China’s local currency), and then tap submit. If the page requires you to select payment options, select Alipay.
Take note that it may take a few seconds to load the pages depending on your internet connection. If the page fails to load properly, you can tap on the back icon to try scanning again. Alternatively, you can restart your TNG eWallet app and try to scan again.
After this process, the app will then redirect to Touch ‘n Go eWallet’s confirmation page which will show the amount in both CNY and MYR along with the currency exchange rate. To confirm you’ll need to enter your Touch ‘n Go eWallet’s 6-digit security pin to proceed.
The transaction is complete.
Display QR Code (Merchant scans user code)
Most established merchants and retail chain outlets in China would have their own QR scanner which scans the user’s QR code instead. This is the easiest way to pay as there’s no need to enter the required payment amount. Here are the steps to show your QR code to the merchant:
Launch the Touch ‘n Go eWallet app, tap on ‘Pay’ and show your QR code to the merchant or kiosk.
The transaction is complete.
At the end of the transaction, your TNG eWallet app will show the amount paid in both MYR and CNY as well as the current exchange rate used.
Using Alipay with Malaysia-issued credit, debit and prepaid card
If you don’t want to use TNG eWallet and prefer to utilise your credit, debit or prepaid card, the alternative option is the international Alipay app. With this app, you can bind your card to your Alipay account and it will charge the card on a per transaction basis. The Alipay app is available on the Apple App Store, Google Play Store and Huawei AppGallery.
After downloading the app, you can register using your Malaysian mobile number and then add your cards under accounts. You are able to add multiple accounts in Alipay and choose which card to use when you’re making a payment.
How to use Alipay in China?
Similar to TNG eWallet, you can either scan a merchant’s QR code (Scan) or show your QR code to the merchant (Pay) to make a cashless transaction with the Alipay app. If you have multiple cards saved, you can tap on the drop-down to select your preferred card to pay. Unlike the TNG eWallet app, you won’t be able to see your MYR transaction amount but you can refer it to your bank’s or prepaid card app for the transaction details including currency exchange rate.
Overall, the Alipay app is more convenient than the previously discontinued Alipay Tour Pass which requires users to top-up a virtual China-issued prepaid card.
However, take note that your typical card transaction fees may apply and it could cost more than using Touch ‘n Go eWallet. For better control and competitive CNY-MYR rates, we recommend binding a travel-focused prepaid card.
One advantage of using the Alipay app instead of TNG eWallet is the mini-programmes for China. Besides making payments, Alipay provides access to a variety of digital services including eHailing, Bike sharing, and virtual metro cards for public buses and trains. — SoyaCincau