Mastercard (and Visa) are not as widely accepted in China as in many other countries; China Unionpay is the main player (and is also gaining traction elsewhere). A CNY wallet and China Unionpay would be great for people who have to travel in the world’s second largest economy for work or pleasure.
I guess this would be even more complicated then a Visa option, but still a valid and good idea.
While being in China (mid 2016) I visited one Apple Store and was informed that even they can only accept ApplePay that is associated with a Unionpay card. And that some employees there tried to use their Unionpay - ApplePay accounts abroad didn’t worked either.
So it wouldn’t help just to support ApplePay.
Even more practical than UnionPay, and probably no more unrealistic, would be to allow Revolut to be linked to Alipay, the biggest e-wallet provider in China. Alipay is even more widely accepted than UnionPay (think street vendors, airlines, railway and even the traffic police) - and the few important places that don’t, like Starbucks, would accept the Mastercard.
The regulations in China probably mean that a foreign entrant would not be welcome, and I don’t think the case for Alipay (probably the biggest e-wallet provider anywhere) to work together with (comparatively tiny) Revolut is too strong, but one can always dream. But - if it did happen - we’d absolutely have to have RMB as a fourth currency!
Well it would be interesting to support Alipay also for purchases on Aliexpress. But I guess implementing all this would come after Paypal would be implemented.
Maybe WeChat Pay is an option?
I’m pretty sure you can already top up WeChat wallet using your MasterCard (at least it just accepted it for me). Problem is: It’s a one-way street, and WeChat isn’t as widely accepted. For example, I often use Alipay for 12306.cn (the railways), who don’t take credit cards, but I can think of others that don’t take WeChat.
Starbucks is the only place I can think of that is exclusively WeChat (or traditional Chip&Pin card transaction).
I saw it at the Shenyang airport and several other places there normally in conjunction with Ali pay.
Just an update on Alipay: You can now link your MasterCard with Alipay, but only through their App, not the website. The problem is, they don’t allow you to top up your wallet-balance using the card, but instead some online payment transactions through the cellphone app allow you to choose the MasterCard instead of Yinlian or your wallet (I’ve used it to top up cellphone credit and to buy train and flight tickets).
So Alipay has become a little more foreigner-friendly, I guess
It would be awesome to have better support of China. Let me clarify and update few things:
- Alipay and Alipay international are 2 very different systems. Former is used as general payment solution, later is pretty much AliExpress payment system
- Alipay needs bank account in China or Chinese ID to verify identity, so it’s a no-go for foreigners without Chinese bank account
- WeChat Pay is a good alternative for Alipay. Perhaps even better. It can verify the user with foreign credit card but can’t be topped up with it
- You can link UnionPay card to WeChat but only if it’s issued by a supported bank (currently Chinese banks only)
- UnionPay, Wechat and Alipay are all widely accepted in China but Wechat and Alipay are probably somewhat wider accepted
- UnionPay is a debit card. So you may need physical card to take full advantage of it or NFC card for contactless
- WeChat just needs to be verified and topped-up and you’re good to go, no need to wait for physical card
Given all of this either of following would be awesome:
a) issue UnionPay cards as virtual and physical. Preferrable having a major Chinese bank as an issuer
b) topup WeChat pay from Revolut. Current solutions for topup Wechat from Western countries without Chinese account involve about 20% fee. With Chinese account fee is minimal, perhaps 1%. If Revolut gives me an option with 5-10% fee, this could be interesting
Wasn’t UnionPay and Mastercard in business together?
As I know unionpay cards are accepted abroad through MC system. But I don’t know if Mc are accepted in China through UP system…
AFAIK only UnionPay and Discover US cards work on UnionPay terminals
And I tried to add Revolut card to WeChat. They told that they detected “irregularities” and rejected it. Maybe lack of 3D-Secure, maybe it being prepaid. Anyway all MasterCards are considered credit cards and can’t be used for refill, only for ID verification if at all
I’m here now and the Revolut card has been great for cash, but so few places accept Visa/mastercard and your right adding to Wechat pay or Alipay seems a no-go, I just posted an idea for a wechat/Alipay tie up as it would transform the way I use the card.