WeChat Pay arrives in Paris department stores
Chinese tourists visiting Paris are now able to pay for their purchases in two of the city's famous department stores with their smartphones, thanks the adoption of the payment app of the popular Chinese social media network, WeChat.
The Galeries Lafayette group said Wednesday that shoppers at its flagship Galeries Lafayette Haussmann and BHV Marais stores could now check out with WeChat Pay.
The feature is integrated into Tencent-owned WeChat, which had more than 938 million active monthly users earlier this year, allowing payment via a linked bank card.
The service, available to Chinese merchants since 2014, has been expanding internationally since 2016.
Paris is a major draw for Chinese tourists, where surveys show they are top spenders.
The Galeries Lafayette group said its shops welcome 15 million foreign visitors per year and wanted to provide "its Chinese customers with a familiar, convenient and secure payment environment ... directly on their smartphone."
Another Parisian department store, Printemps, has opted for the rival Chinese payment service Alipay.
Well-heeled Chinese tourists have become targets for thieves, with Beijing urging France on Monday to "crack the case" of a Chinese tourist group which was tear-gassed and robbed in Paris last week.
© 2017 AFP