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WeChat Starts Charging for Digital Wallet to Bank Account Transfer


According to Tencent's statement a month ago, the company has to pay transaction fees but has never charged users. The decision to charge now is because the user amount is getting bigger, and the company needs to soften those rocketing costs.


They've also stated that the 1000 yuan quota was set with consideration that most Wechat wallets hold less than that amount.

Tencent's decision has received different reactions from users.

While some CRIticisms exist, most residents say small fee does not bother them much.

"I won't mind if they charge me. After all, companies do need to improve their profits."

"I don't think the middle class will care about a 0.1 percent fee."

Tencent's new policy takes effect a week after China's five major state-owned banks cancelled service fees for mobile transactions of less than 5,000 yuan.

The banks will also stop charging fees on domestic yuan transfers through cellphones.

Professor Chiang Jeongwen from the China-Europe International Business School says he believes only a small fraction of current users will change their payment habits due to the new fees; the move itself has puzzled him.

"The reason for them to do this, we all know that AliPay is also subsidizing its users and it is the bigger rival. And now you have Apple Pay and Samsung Pay in the market, so [it has] intensified the competition. AliPay also has deep pockets, with the intention to make it a dominant payment system, I don't think they will be foolish enough try to follow TenPay's practice at all."

According to Chiang, consumers are not likely to be loyal to one single payment platform, and rather make payment choices depending on promotions and convenience.

However, some other commentators say the fee is actually a Trojan horse.

The Tencent wallet, just like alipay, also allows the user to book tickets for movies, trains and flights, order food deliveries, pay utility bills and credit cards, buy financial products, donate to charity and transfer money directly to other users.

That's why analysts are saying the company is only creating some barriers for users withdrawing their money, so that they'll more likely try other functions that the wechat wallet provides, leaving Tencent with more funds to invest in its financial and wealth management schemes.

If people do find paying fees to withdraw money troubling, it is possible that they'll develop the habit of using the wechat wallet as one of their payment tool.

Last year, China's mobile banking market passed 9 trillion yuan, of which Tencent's apps made up nearly 18 percent.

The volume of mobile banking transactions in China is expected to exceed 28 trillion yuan in 2016.

For CRI, I'm Niu Honglin.

来自:VOA英语网 文章地址: