back to article China eases barriers for cashless foreigners to use local services

Mastercard announced last week it will allow linking of its credit cards to AliPay's digital wallet without advancing the cash to a prepaid account, thus easing foreigner travel in China. In mainly cashless China, foreigners have previously had a tough time paying for goods and services. It is estimated that around 80 percent …

  1. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

    One Man's Trojan Horse is Another Being's Magic Bullet Greater IntelAIgent Game Changer

    Mastercard said the effort expands on a partnership established in 2019. The top two payment systems in China, AliPay and WeChat Pay, have been accessible via foreign credit cards on a limited scale since that year. WeChat Pay, known domestically as Weixin Pay, will also be more accessible soon, according to parent company Tencent.

    Is that gracious generous courtesy reciprocated in the West, to improve/make extremely easy the payment experience for Chinese visitors ...... and is it a universal facility being expanded and extended and provided for the enjoyment and enjoinment of all foreign visitors travelling to and residing/holidaying in what to them can be as strange and spooky alien lands?

    Nice one, China/Mastercard. Thanks for the Absolutely Fabulous Phishing.

    1. katrinab Silver badge

      Re: One Man's Trojan Horse is Another Being's Magic Bullet Greater IntelAIgent Game Changer

      To an extent, yes.

      It is possible for retailers outside China to accept UnionPay cards and they have reciprocal agreements with some Western payment networks, though not Visa or Mastercard.

      You would probably find greater acceptance in the US than in Europe.

      1. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

        Re: One Man's Trojan Horse is Another Being's Magic Bullet Greater IntelAIgent Game Changer

        Thanks for the info, katrinab, which has us discovering further intel on a rising global market force and almighty vast newly tapped fiat source ....... UnionPay's Taking Over Global Debit Card Marketshare

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    High trust High scam

    The CCP is desperate to scam MORE forex to pad its coffers with corruption and ripoff economy running on top of mainland Chinese people and the entire world.

    XiReg shows who their paymasters are by publishing these puff pieces.

    The CCP terrorists need to have their supply cutoff. Complete NKorea isolation until regime collapse and organic change.

    We don't do business or support genocidal dictatorships.

    1. Claverhouse Silver badge

      Re: High trust High scam

      Unless they have something we need.

    2. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

      Re: High trust High scam

      Take a chill pill, AC, .... you're doing yourself a mischief and, some would venture, revealing your bankrupt, as in devoid of novel politically correct and adept APT* proprietary intellectual property, paymasters/dream merchants/0day spivs.

      * ..... Advanced Persistent Threat and/or Treat

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "thus easing foreigner travel in China."

    I'm literally fighting that shit in Beijing right now. The article omits the part where you need to enter your phone number, then scan your passport. Then you get to an untranslated page, still wholly in Chinese (and those parts which /are/ translated would be a laugh, if you were not extremely frustrated trying to get them to work).

    Also, it requires Internet connectivity. That's better for me today, since my French mobile phone company now includes some free GBs as part of the monthly fee in China*. Before that, every time I needed to pay, it required frantically finding an open wifi hotspot, understanding whatever its login page required (well, first it required finding what browser it supported), then making sure that would work at the cashier.

    Foreigners need to be ready for the frustration. And if like me they've got some cash left, spend it quickly wherever it's still accepted.

    * Bonus: data roaming with a foreign ISP means there's no GFW getting in the way, all the internet is reachable, which is fscking great! My trusted proxy still works, but is SLOW.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      To add more about how miserable the experience is:

      I later spent one hour configuring WechatPay. I already had an account, but I needed to change my passport number (passport renewed since).

      That is not possible.

      I had to restart the process from scratch, going through a number of pages in Chinese only, with important choices about what to do with the money in your wallet.

      Later on, there was the form, in French. Except it was buggy, and impossible to fill, missing the field for the passport number. Forcing the language to English, then restarting, this time I could fill it. Then a picture of my passport, then facial recognition. Then it helpfully told me that it would be activated "in less than 3 business days".

      It was faster than that, at least, it actually got done in about one hour. I could transfer money.

      Then I attached my Chinese bank card. But my Chinese bank doesn't allow for a foreign phone number, so I used somebody's Chinese number. So I had to use the same in WeChat to make it happy. Then its fraud algorithm kicked in, and required me to check again the phone number, was it really really mine? Asking me all that in Chinese-only, of course.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        What do you expect?

        It's China. Everything is setup to track everything you do down to your bowel movements.

  4. An_Old_Dog Silver badge

    Not Seeing the (End-User) Benefit of Cashless Economy

    With ordinary currency, you can complete your transactions regardless of whether or not the Internet is working, and whether or not all the required financial institutions' computers are working.

    With pay-by-phone, if you lose your phone, if it's stolen, if it's broken, or if it's compromised by malware, you're pretty-much screwed.

    "But," say the cashless-boosters, "you can be robbed of your cash."

    Yes, but you can be robbed of your phone; you then are DoS'd, at best, and robbed of your funds, at worst.

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