China Payment Gateways 2021- Which One Should You Use?

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eCommerce is one of the most profitable sectors in China, producing unbeatable records year after year. For instance, Alibaba and set new records for this year’s Singles Day shopping festival with $115 billion in sales.

That said, eCommerce is inseparable from payment gateways because consumers have preferred payment methods when shopping online.

The article will walk you through the available payment gateways in China, opportunities, and why they should be part of your localization strategy.

China Payment Gateways

China Payment Gateways 2021: Top Chinese Payment Gateways to Use

With Chinese payment gateways, you’re offering convenience to Chinese customers since these are the most widely used when they shop for products or pay services online.


AliPay is Alibaba’s payment platform and the leading payment method among Chinese consumers. It can process VISA and Mastercard transactions, and the company has partnered with more than 180 financial institutions. Most eCommerce websites integrate AliPay because it supports debit and credit cards.

AliPay has an escrow service allowing the customer to verify the purchased goods before releasing the funds to the seller, which is why it is the most valued payment method due to its robust security and protection for customers.

Businesses can also take advantage of immediate payments from buyers, whether they receive payments for goods or services on their website or mobile app. AliPay also uses QR codes for contactless payment.


Tencent’s WeChatPay is one of the most popular payment methods among consumers due to the uniquity of WeChat. More than 1 billion users of the app can link their bank accounts, pay for products and services to merchants, and transfer money swiftly.

Most of the establishments, hospitals, groceries, and mom-and-pop shops accept WeChatPay as a payment mode where customers scan the company’s QR code.

Merchants that have WeChat online stores can receive payments directly from customers, aside from the eCommerce site or mobile app.


China UnionPay is China’s bankcard association regulated by the government. Customers can pay merchants securely with a trusted card brand all over the world. Furthermore, UnionPay cards are accepted in over 174 countries and 52 million merchants worldwide.

Chinese travelers who are UnionPay cardholders have exclusive privileges such as no foreign transaction fees, no purchasing limits, and great deals and discounts from participating merchants worldwide.

In general, Chinese tourists would prefer to use UnionPay to settle bills and payments when traveling rather than VISA or Mastercard and cash.


99Bill may not be as popular as AliPay and WeChatPay, but it has been around since 2005. It’s an independent third-party payment company and has acquired a third-party payment license in 2011 from the Peoples Bank of China.

The license allows the company to process online payments, mobile payments, and prepaid cards. Although it’s a small company, it already has 2 million registered merchants.

It has an edge in the insurance, retail, and direct selling sector. Thus it’s useful for cross-border transactions for overseas companies.


PayEase is a third-party payment company that processes mobile payments via SMS, internet banking, and POS terminals. It has partnered with 23 major banks in China, supporting 63 types of credit and debit cards, including VISA, Mastercard, JCB, and American Express.

PayEase also supports Yandex.Money e-wallet, the largest electronic online payment service in Russia, offering a secure way for users to pay merchants from bank cards, payment kiosks, mobile phone balances, to name a few.

Why explore opportunities in China?

According to NASDAQ, China is the second-largest economy globally, with a GDP of $14.14 trillion in 2019. Although the pandemic’s epicenter was in Wuhan, the nation is the first to bounce back, regaining economic activities. Thus, as of this writing, almost everything is back to normal but with precautionary measures.

Undeniably, the eCommerce and retail sectors are experiencing growth even in the post-pandemic era and are likely to thrive. Moreover, the growing social commerce — online shopping in social media and omni channels — such as the rise of short video apps unlocks endless opportunities for overseas companies to explore.

Taobao and Tmall are already supporting live stream selling on their platforms, whereas Douyin and Kuaishou, these short video apps, are supporting eCommerce features within the app.

If you’re in the eCommerce sector, the choice of payment gateway that allows you to receive money from consumers is critical to your online store’s growth.

Final Thoughts — Why Use China Payment Gateways

As a merchant, you need to use a payment gateway to receive RMB payments, including credit and debit cards, to encourage more customers’ buy-ins. Localizing your payment channels should be part of your strategy.

Just like other countries, China has its own rules and policies when it comes to payment processing. One of them is that a China-based operating business can’t operate and process payments that are not approved by Chinese systems, including internet transactions that you process, whether in the server, cloud, and data centers, all of which should be on the premises of China.

All in all, payments made in China should go through these channels and local banks authorized by the government.