BNP Paribas is introducing WeChat Pay to retailers in France and subsequently across Europe, providing an opportunity for merchants to streamline the shopping experience for the 7.4 million Chinese tourists who visit the continent each year.
WeChat Pay is being initially rolled out at the two Paris flagship stores owned by the Galeries Lafayette Group – Galeries Lafayette Haussmann and BHV MARAIS.
The integration with WeChat Pay follows a similar agreement struck by the French bank with the messaging service’s home-grown rival Alibaba, which has been aggressively pursuing deals for its own Alipay app with Europe’s biggest payment processors, banks and eftpos vendors.
Between them, AliPay and WeChat command a 63% market share in digital payments across China and are using their experiences to drive into other aspects of financial services and into new geographies.
WeChat opened an office in London earlier this year and began talks with major European luxury and fashion brands and payments institutions to accommodate the brand at the checkout.
Pierre Fersztand, global head of cash management at BNP Paribas, boasts: “We’re now offering the most comprehensive range of payment solutions on the market aimed at the Chinese customers of our retail sector clients.”