Chinese internet giant Tencent has decided to integrate the QR code system of its mobile payment platform with that of rival UnionPay, posing a challenge to the duopoly of WeChat Pay and Alipay in China, Caixin reported.
UnionPay and Wechat Pay did not comment on the matter.
The agreement would enable merchants to accept WeChat Pay and UnionPay’s QuickPass with the same scannable code.
At present, merchants have to use varied codes for the two services.
The report said that the two firms have already started a trial of the integrated system on Android devices. The trial is taking place in Fuzhou.
The integration of systems aligns with China central bank’s aim to develop the fintech sector.
In its three-year plan released last year, the central bank said that the objective of “one code for all” could be materialised by 2021-end.
Around 90% of the mobile payment market in China is said to be currently dominated by WeChat Pay and Ant Financial’s mobile payment platform Alipay.
QuickPass, with a user base of 240 million, ranks as the third-largest mobile payment firm in China.
A UnionPay staff earlier told Caixin: “QuickPass could start to disrupt the duopoly of Alipay and WeChat Pay once its number of registered users reaches somewhere between 400 and 500 million.”
“We expect it to happen sometime in 2020.”
According to Caixin, the two firms are also collaborating on payments based on facial biometrics.