UPDATE: WeChat Pay’s operator starts servicing Chinese tourists in Russia
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MOSCOW, Jun 5 (PRIME) -- Chinese payment system WeChat Pay, embedded into the eponymous messenger, has been developing its infrastructure in Russia since the beginning of the year and is already used to service Chinese tourists, Sergei Teimurazyan, deputy chairman of non-bank credit organization Russian Financial Society, said on Tuesday.
“Payment system Sendy represented by firm Digital Payment signed a direct agreement with Tenpay Payment Company Ltd., which is an operator of payment service WeChat Pay and is a part of holding Tencent. At the end of the previous year, we signed an agreement and starting from this year we’re expanding infrastructure to service Chinese tourists,” Teimurazyan said.
For activities in Russia, Tencent chose a payment system rather than a bank. The Russian Financial Society acts as a settlement center and a bank-participant, which “engages retail and service firms to settle payment with WeChat Pay,” he said.
“We have agreements with large duty free operators, Dufry and Heinemann, at (Moscow’s) airports Sheremetyevo, Domodedovo and (St. Petersburg’s) Pulkovo,” Teimurazyan said.
Alexander Agamov, executive director of tourist association World Without Borders, said that chain stores, big malls and restaurants popular among the Chinese tourists start using or think of using WeChat Pay.
Moscow’s premium store GUM already uses WeChat Pay, while its fellow TsUM is testing it, he said.
Local food retailer Azbuka Vkusa will launch WeChat Pay in several of its stores in late June.
“We have prepared integration (with WeChat Pay) and will launch first five to 10 stores in late June,” a seller spokesperson said, adding that the agreement on the payment system covers 17 facilities. “We’ll make a decision on a full deployment upon results of the pilot.”
Azbuka Vkusa runs 161 stores of several formats in Moscow, the Moscow Region and St. Petersburg.