Tencent and Starbucks announced strategic cooperation in Guangzhou today; and from today on, WeChat Pay is available in about 2,500 Starbucks stores in China.
Starbucks customers simply need to have a payment QR code under WeChat Wallet and scanned to make the payment, which takes roughly about a few seconds.
Starbucks will also launch social gifts on WeChat in early 2017, becoming the first retail brand experiencing this WeChat feature.
The number of WeChat monthly active users reached 846 million in Q3 2016. The cooperation will help further promote WeChat Payment adoptions, which at the same time drives branding and engagement on WeChat for Starbucks.
Many retailers in China have adopted Alipay, WeChat Pay, or both. KFC integrated Alipay in July 2015 while McDonald’s started accepting both Alipay and WeChat payment in September 2015. Starbucks might want to build its own membership payment ecosystem; but, it could be a good decision to collaborate with WeChat facing the unique culture and policies issues in China.