There are over 8,000 mobile payment terminals set up in shops in Macau, Economic Services (DSE) Director Tai Kin Ip said Tuesday, pointing out that as e-payments are rising fast in the city, the government is studying the possibility of supporting small business owners planning to install the required equipment.
Tai spoke to reporters on the sidelines of attending a forum on WeChat Pay jointly organised by his bureau and e-payment provider WeChat Pay to explain to local businesses the details of cross-border smart payment, which offers local companies a more efficient payment option for mainland tourists.
The forum, held at Macau Tower, was attended by about 500 local business representatives from the retail, food and beverage, convention, advertising and IT sectors.
Tai said that if small vendors think that mobile payment is suitable for their business operation, the government would study ways to support them.
“The main thing is the circumstances for shops and wet markets are different, so a different approach is necessary,” Tai said, “The government is constantly watching the development to see if there are new, low cost ways that are suitable for [small vendors].”
Tai noted in his speech at the forum that mainland China is quite ahead in the world as far as the mobile payment market is concerned, where digital payment methods are already integrated into many people’s everyday life.
He said that the forum would hopefully help local businesses, especially small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to operate more efficiently with the millions of mainland visitors visiting Macau each year, establish a relationship with customers and promote their services online and offline.
According to officials statistics, 22.2 million mainland Chinese visited Macau last year.
According to The Macau Post Daily WeChat Pay Overseas Operations Director Grace Yin Jie told reporters that since WeChat Pay was launched in Macau in November last year, the usage rate has grown so much that it had exceeded the company’s expectations.
Currently, only mainlanders can use WeChat Pay to make their payments at local businesses that have WeChat Pay terminals. Yin said that while the company is at present focusing its cooperation with local merchants, expanding the mobile payment service to local residents would be their next step, as well as clearing conducted with local financial institutions.