Payment Security: Wechat and Alipay payment limits starting from April first
A new regulation on QR-code payments for Chinese mobile payment providers -- such as WeChat and Alipay -- is now in effect. It's aimed at making the service safer for consumers. It essentially means that with static barcode payments, customers can only spend a maximum of 500 RMB per day, but there will be no such limit on dynamic barcode payments. CGTN Sun Tianyuan explains.
QR-code payments have become the norm in China in the past couple of years. For practically everything from shopping and eating out to wedding gifts and buying incense in temples. Even beggers understand their benefits! However, with so much convenience, it's inevitable that the risks are high. Static barcodes can be easily tampered with and even infected with harmful viruses. By covering genuine QR codes with fake ones, scammers can access a user's mobile payment account when they scan the fraudulent sticker. The new regulation is aimed at minimizing the financial loss caused by such an event.
Experts say the threshold is specifically for the QR codes of vendors, not consumers. For example, if your bill tops 500 RMB, you can simply ask the cashier to scan your dynamic QR code, which is much safer.
WANG PENGBO SENIOR ANALYST AT ENFODESK "The dynamic barcode will lose efficacy after you complete each payment. Meanwhile, it can change with each payment. The 500 RMB limit was set based on research and investigations by the People's Bank of China. It can satisfy more than 95 percent of people in their daily consumption. The regulation is actually for the sake of payment security. You will at most lose 500 rmb if you meet scammers."
CONSUMER "I think the measure is good because it can guarantee consumer safety and it avoid many risks."
But not everyone is happy about the change and feel it's too restrictive.
TEA TRADER "500 RMB is not enough. Recently spring tea has come in to the market. Many customers buy more than one kilogram of spring tea each time. That's more than 500 yuan only once."
Up until to now, Alipay and WeChat -- China's two largest mobile payment platforms -- have openly supported the new regulations. The rise in mobile payments means there's less cash floating about, which means the streets are safer. All of this is being facilitated by easier access to QR codes. More than 40 million small retailers across the country now have their own one. Although everyone isn't happy, it was inevitable something had to be done to make the service more secure. Sun Tianyuan, CGTN.