Could Wechat avoid Unionpay to test its POS payment? The answer is yes. Many reliable sources indicated that Wechat POS payment will launch on 22 in March, 2014.
Though Tencent did not comment about the rumor publicly, word said that Wechat POS project was led by a team who also developed Wechat membership card. Wechat POS is consisted of customized POS machine and Wechat payment, targeting offline stores’ payment solution. When a consumer has purchased the products, the customized POS machine will generate a QR code and the consumer could scan the QR code then pay the bill with Wechat payment.
One insider from Tencent revealed that Wechat POS would work as a tool to connect offline stores with Wechat payment and Wechat membership card. Wechat membership card only had stored value and gathering points functions before, it will add payment soon.
It means that Wechat begins to expand its payment business both online and offline. Wechat is not the first one to enter offline payment market, Alipay, 99bill and chinapnr all have tried. Offline POS payment is an essential step for third-parties such as Wechat and Alipay to enter retail payment market.
Alipay tried avoiding Unionpay to enter POS payment market, it ended badly and those banks in cooperation with Alipay got huge amount of penalties. Retail payment market is dominated by Unionpay and banks, Alipay’s entering offline payment jeopardized Unionpay’s interest greatly. Though Unionpay has no restraint on third-parties, it could stop third-parties by controlling member banks.