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Can foreigners use WeChat’s Wallet function? If so, how?





(Note: this article is about signing up for WeChat Wallet, after which you can use it to book taxis, buy cinema tickets and buy group discounts for meals)

WeChat (aka Weixin in Chinese) is a multipurpose social networking app similar to WhatsApp; among its various functions is a ‘Wallet’ setting that allows users to pay for a number of different items through their smart phone, including cinema tickets, taxis and group discount deals. This works even if the users only have debit or ATM cards.

Foreigners are just as welcome to use these functions as Chinese people, although they will need a Chinese bank card. Additionally, although the set-up process is in English (provided you downloaded the English-language version of WeChat), a reasonable grasp of Chinese is required for more complex functions.

Here’s how to link your bank card to your WeChat account; the screenshots are taken from the iPhone version, but the Android edition should be much the same.

 

1.Open WeChat.

2.Press the ‘Me’ button at the bottom of the screen, then tap the ‘Wallet’ option.

Wallet-a

 

3.This is the main menu that you will use to access different options once your card has been set up. Press ‘Wallet’ again.

Wallet-b

 

4.Select ‘Add a Card’. 

Wallet-c

 

5.Type in the number across the middle of your bank card; depending on the bank you are using, this may be somewhat longer than those found on many foreign banking cards. Once you’re done, tap ‘Next’.

Wallet-d

 

6.Now type in your card information; it should be the same as the information you gave your bank when opening your account.

Your name should be the same as the full name printed on your passport (including middle names), however in practice it will be whatever the clerk at your local bank typed into their computer when they registered you on the system. Consequently, you may need to input it all in capitals, or all in lowercase, for it to register properly.

You could also try putting it in reverse order (surname, then first name, then middle names), try dropping your middle names, or try typing in your name without any spaces. If you have an apostrophe in your name you could try removing that, too. If none of these things work, go to your bank and double-check how they have inputted your name. It’s possible that the customer service advisor made a typo or other error – and don’t forget to take your passport!

Next, tap ‘ID type’ to select the identification you used to open your bank account – almost certainly your passport (it will be set to ‘ID Card’ as default). If ‘passport’ is not available then unfortunately your bank is not compatible with WeChat Wallet at the moment. Finally, type in the phone number you gave your bank and make sure the ‘Accept “User Agreement”‘ box is ticked. On older iPhones, you will have to scroll down to get to the ‘Next’ button.

Wallet-e

 

7.You will then be brought to the following screen. But don’t worry about doing anything yet, because…

Wallet-g

 

8….WeChat will then send a message to your phone with an authorization code (see image below). This will only work if you give the phone number that your bank has on file; if you put in another number you will get an error message. If you no longer have access to the number that you originally gave to your bank, you will need to change it before you can continue with the WeChat process. If you gave the correct number but still didn’t get a code, there is a link at the bottom of the ‘Verify Mobile’ page (scroll down to find it on older iPhones) that will resend it. 

Wallet-h

 

9.Now you need to add a little security in case your phone is stolen or lost. Type in a six-digit passcode that you can easily remember.

Wallet-i

 

10.Press ‘Next’ (you may need to scroll down to get to that button), and your card will be added to your wallet. 

Wallet-j

 

Congratulations! You’re now able to go spend-crazy on your phone!

 

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73 Responses to Can foreigners use WeChat’s Wallet function? If so, how?

  • Hi, i’m based in Singapore, and tried to link a master card issued by Singapore bank, but unsuccessful to withdraw money from wechat wallet, there are options below all the banks name that we can actually select either master card or visa, however after keyed in all the info, they shows me sorry this card are not allowed to withdraw money, please use another card. Is this because of the different currency in the card? Or is it because of the card is not issued from a China bank? Or would it simply because i am using the app outside of China? Appreciate an answer very much cause my money is stuck in the wechat wallet. If i apply a new card with an China bank here in Singapore using foreign (none China) particulars and a Singapore phone number, do you think it will work out? Thank you!

  • I managed to add my VISA credit card (Citibank) but when I try to make payment or transfer it prompted me “Credit Card isn’t supported” any clue?

  • Hi, i’ve the english version of wechat but i need to link the wallet to it. I setted it in chinese and the wallet appeared. Now i can set an italian credit card or i do need a chinese credit card? And, if so the credit card has to be with my name or not? Many thanks!!!!

  • Hi im from the philippines and im wondering how to withdraw my money in we chat

  • Hi I’m from Malaysia, I can’t find the word “wallet” in my wechat so how?

    • Hi Andy. There is a strange bug in some versions of WeChat (especially on the iPhone, we have found…) that means the Wallet option does not appear when using the English language version of WeChat. You may have to either switch your phone or WeChat itself to Chinese in order to get the Wallet function to appear. It may also disappear if you switch back to English, but this doesn’t always happen (If your Chinese-reading skills are not great, we would suggest trying this out with a Chinese-reading friend, just to be on the safe side).

      • I too have wechat in English and did not have wechat wallet appear on my menu…. until one day one of my friends sent virtual lucky money (Hong bao) and when I clicked on that to open it, the next time I looked on the menu I had the wallet. I successfully managed to order a Taxi if Chinese today and worked out how to transfer money to bank card but you do need a reasonable level of Chinese to work out how to use it.

  • hi, can i know how to remove the wallet app in my WeChat?

  • Hey everyone, I tried the logging out/in and changing languages process but it didn’t work for me. I could only see the wallet when I used the Chinese settings.

    What I did is:
    1- Change the language to Chinese.
    2- Go to the wallet and set up the card.
    3- Change the language back to English.

    ….and then the wallet was there with all its functions, hope this helps someone. (If you can’t understand Chinese at all, perhaps you can have a friend help you with the process.

    Regards.

    • Hey, for me in Android 5.0, simply changing the language and waiting a moment while the data reloaded brought the wallet out. I quickly switched back to English and clicked on the wallet option thinking that I could access it before it could refresh away from me. Whether or not that is why, it worked for me–I could set up wallet in English.

  • Hi Guys,

    Today I stupidly excepted a money transfer on wechat. I have the money in my wechat wallet but can not transfer it back to the sender or withdraw it because I don’t have a Chinese bank card. Is there anyway to reverse the payment and send it back? Please help!!

    • You don’t need a Chinese bank card linked to send money back to someone. To transfer it use the “lucky money” function or the transfer symbol. You only need linked bank card if you want to top up your wallet balance or pay for things direct from bank card or transfer money from the wallet to bank card.

  • hi, i live in india (bangalore), i have a wechat in my mobile using to chat or send image.

    can i send money through wechat wallet, if s, how can i install the wechat wallet as i have tried a lot.

    kindly guide me

    my wechat id is prasaadd, my mobile no is 9845093688

  • Which bank available for wechat attachment in Malaysia? Because give ang pau , it reached certain amount and it can’t send out already system will write out please attach a bank card for ang pau payment

  • may i ask how to withdraw the money in lucky money when i’m using BDO or unibank here in philippines when i check some card type there’s no BDO or UNIBANK there so how? please help

    • Hi Kc. To withdraw the money to your bank account, you first need link your bank card to your WeChat account. However, at present only banks in the Chinese mainland and Hong Kong can be linked – meaning that that the lucky money you have in your WeChat account can be only withdrawn to a Chinese bank account.

  • Update: I signed into we chat on my iPad, and somehow the wallet function was there in English. So I deleted the app from my phone, reinstalled in and the wallet function was there in English as well. I am not sure what I did, but it does work.

  • I found that the IOS we chat can not have the wallet if its in English. My wife has an android phone and she has that wallet option in both languages. But the wallet will only show up for me in Chinese…it disappears when I switch the language back to English.

    • Hi Josh, we are also puzzled by this problem, which occasionally affects iOS users – you certainly should be able to access WeChat Wallet in English. The solution suggested by some of our readers, involving changing the language of the app and/or iPhone does not work for everyone. We hope that you are able to overcome this problem soon.

  • This one had me running around.

    Somebody mentioned having to “close out” after switching to Chinese to enable the wallet. What he/she means is log out.

    So here are the steps to enable wallet for English language WeChat:

    1. Change your language to Chinese.
    2. Go back (you may have to switch back and forth between ‘settings’ and ‘me’ once more to get the wallet to appear).
    3. Open Wallet, but do nothing.
    4. Go back to ‘settings’ and log out.
    5. Close WeChat (the app).
    6. Open WeChat.
    7. Log in.
    8. Go to ‘settings’ > ‘general’ > ‘language’.
    9. Change your language back to English.
    10. Go back to ‘me’ and your wallet will be there.

    Hope this helps.

    Cheers!

  • As usual, Chinese companies only think about the needs for Chinese people. I can never have micro payments done, if they won’t change the system. Now why is that?

    In WeChatPay’s early days, I tied up my account with my credit card (even a Chinese one), but on the credit card the name is “FIRSTNAME LASTNAME”. Now most banks, having bank accounts on the name “LASTNAME FIRSTNAME” – different to what it says on the credit card (even both are CMB, the name on the card respectively registered for the bank account is different). Credit Card is not accepted for micro pays, due to high charges by the credit card companies. Bank account cards don’t have the same name as the first registered card, my credit card … no reset options, nothing … so I can never register a bank card … you see the dilemma?

    Typical Chinese company thinking, which makes it difficult for non-Chinese to use it. May be also a reason why so many Chinese companies are still struggling internationally …

    • Hi Joe, you could link your credit card to your WeChat account, though you can only use it to make payments, not transfer money to other bank cards. You may also find that sometimes the system simply fails to even make the payment. 

      In your case, you could try to apply for a new debit card with the exact same the same as the one you put in your WeChat account. Or you could ask for help with the WeChat customer service, though they will need your personal information to fix the problem. 

      Here is the contact for the WeChat service center. It may help if you can find a Chinese friend to help communicate with the service staff.

      Good luck!

  • Hi there. I’ve been trying to set up my BOC debit card but like the others above, I’ve been getting “invalid card number or name” errors. I’ve tried the possible name combinations and cases suggested, but to no avail. By the way, I have a suffix in my name, “the second.” I also have a second name, which is not my mother’s middle name. So my name is something like John Paul II Surname. This is what is registered in my bank. Ive tried dropping the Paul and the suffix and triied johnsurname, JOHNSURNAME, surnamejohn, SURNAMEJOHN and other permutations with the suffix, second name, mother’s maiden name, etc. but it just won’t work. In another site, it said that BOC accounts are having problems but then again, wechat recognizes my card number as that of BOC. So it should be in they system. Anything I may have missed? Thank you in advance!

    • Hi Joey, our readers do report several similar cases to yours. It seems the system itself has some problems regarding its customers’ names. You could contact WeChat’s customer service center to ask them for advice. If you are not confident in your Chinese abilities, it may help if you can find a Chinese friend to help communicate with service staff. Good luck!

  • Hi, I downloaded the american android version of We chat and it does not have a wallet feature. I’ve even updated and still , no changes.

    • Hi T. We are not exactly sure of the reason for this – it might be something to do with the WeChat app itself. However, according to feedback from our readers, one solution is to change your app’s language to Chinese (tap Me, then Settings, then General, then Language) and then close the app. Then log in again, and change the language back to English (我 then 设置 then 通用 then 语言 and select简体中文 to change to Simplified Chinese). It worked for some users, and we hope it will work for you too! Good luck!

  • How to withdraw money from my wechat account? Thanks

  • Hi. i already have my bank card linked to my wechat and i used it once before to recharge my phone number and it was working super fine. the enxt month i forgot my password and i can’t remember it so far. of course entered it 14 times wrong which locks my account 24 hours after eaxh wrong entry. i literally can’t remember the password. if i go to the page for forgot the password. i enter all the data correctly. but i keep getting the msg service busy. try again later. that has been showing up for almost 3 weeks now and during anytime of the day. how to solve this ?
    thanks

    • Hi Ahmed. This message suggesys there might be something wrong with the system, which needs to be fixed by their technicians. In this case, you need to contact WeChat’s customer service to ask them to help you. They will require some of your personal information to reset your password. 

      Here is the contact for the WeChat service center. It may help if you can find a Chinese friend to help communicate with service staff.

  • i cannot link my phone number. what to type if my phone number is 9127xxxx , hk .
    I had my china bank card. if i add 8529127xxxx. it said invalid. if i just input 9127xxxx. the length is not enough.

    please help.

    • Hi Tracy. Did you encounter this problem when you linked your phone number to your WeChat, or when you typed in the phone number when you tried to use the wallet function? 

      If the problem occurs when you are linking your phone number to WeChat, you should check whether you chose the right country/region. You need to choose +852 香港. Once you have done this you can put in the eight-digit phone number directly without the region code.

      If it is the second case, make sure the phone number is the exact one you put in when you open the bank account. If not, it won’t be linked to your WeChat wallet. 

      If you still have the problem, you could click here to contact WeChat’s customer service. You will need put in your ID number, bank card number, your phone number and a screenshot of the issue you are facing in order for them to figure out the solution to your problem. Good luck! 

  • Thanks man,

    I tried it several times with my local Bank of China Debit Card, but failed. Only the european Visa Card worked. Finally it just need to write my name in reverse and without space inbetween … like some others here. Seems to be a software issue / standard? :)

    “I solved by inserting my name all in lower cases, surname first and without spaces
    “surnamename”

  • Hey, the wallet function is also not showing up on my phone. I switched to Chinese, opened it, closed it, then switched back to English. Still wasn’t there. If someone finds a solution, please let me know.

    I also tried to add my card, but I couldn’t read the error messages because they were in Chinese. :)

    Thanks for the help!

  • Hello everybody !

    I am trying to link my ICBC banc account to WeChat wallet, but it doesn’t work for me.
    I always get the message:

    “This mobile phone number is not consistent with the one registered in your bank. If your mobile phone number has changed, please let your bank know.”

    My mobile phone number has not been changed, I checked with ICBC, their records shows the mobile phone number I currently use and they also don’t know why it doesn’t work.

    Anyone here who had the same issue and could solve it ?

  • hey guys! I try to transfer money from the wallet to my bank account, but the system is ALWAYS busy!!!! I keep trying to process money every 3 hours, but again & again get the same – System is busy, try again later.

  • Подскажите пожалуйста как я могу вывести средства с баланса с WeChat ?iPhone на электронный кошелек ? возможно ли это ? электронный кошелек подтвердил WeChat но перевести средства не получается…(

  • Hi everybody… I dont know why but, I cant get the wallet? How can Install the wallet? Im living in China, but this options doesn’t appears… Help pls

    • Hi Capg. Try chanigng the language on your phone to Chinese or English and then back – sometimes this gets the Wallet function working properly. It should be located on the “Me” screen in WeChat…

  • Why Malaysia user cannot access to the wechat wallet function? I am trying to search for the wallet button in my wechat, but i am unable to look for the wallet button. Is it only limited region is allowed to use the wallet function?

    • Hi Daniel. We’re not entirely sure, but it’s probably because you are in Malaysia – most WeChat Wallet functions are designed to be used with a Chinese bank account for functions on the Chinese mainland. It seems likely that this is disabled in your version because you do not live in China.

  • I keep getting the message “Cardholder’s name and phone number are not consistent. Please confirm and try again” I checked with my bank and I am sure I am using the phone number registered with my ICBC bank account. Anyone else have this issue and knows how to solve it?

  • However if my wechat is in english my wallet doesnt show and if i change it to chinese it shows… How do i change that?
    Also my ID number wont ever work :( my passport number has 2 letters in front of it i tried with it and without it but it wont work :( any suggestions? Thanks alot :)

    • Hi Tuya. WeChat may appear different when switching between the English and Chinese version, as most of the Wallet functions are designed to serve people within China and most of the functions work only in China. However, if the whole wallet isn’t appearing for you then it may be bugs in the app. We currently do not have a very effective solution – in our experience updating the software has usually fixed any problems. If you need more advice or information, we’d suggest contacting the WeChat service team directly.

      Regarding the passport, we’re really not sure what to do in this instance. It could be that your bank does not allow for WeChat Wallet use. Check with them and with the WeChat service team to see whether the function is disabled for you.

      We wish you the best of luck in getting it all up and running!

  • My WeChat menus are in English, except Wallet which comes up in Simplified. I can read Chinese, but would prefer it all in English. Any idea how to change this.

    I also found that no spaces between names for ICBC works and gets round the “system busy” message.

    • Hi Mike. This seems to be a common bug and we’re not sure how to fix it. We suggest contacting WeChat directly.

  • Great article, thanks!
    Me and my friends are trying to do this, but not getting anywhere.
    We just see this message “System busy. Please try again later”. I’ve tried with both my bank cards (CMB and ICBC) and all kinds of combinations of my name (upper case, lower case, title case, with/without middle names, with/without spaces, surname first etc…)
    Always that same message.

    Anyone else having this problem?

    • I just had that problem today. As soon as I tried using all caps for my name, it went through. I’d guess it means you aren’t putting your name exactly like it was when you got your bank account.

    • I kept getting the “system is busy. try again later” message on WeChat as well. Typing my name in all CAPS fixed the problem!

  • You have such an amazing blog for foreigners on China. I cant believe you dont have a RSS Feed, so we can keep-up with this.

  • I’m having trouble even getting my card linked. Keeps saying my ID type and number is incorrect even after i’ve verified
    all the details with my bank. WHAT DO I DO??

  • how come wallet doesnt show on ny wechat? i have the new 6.1

  • It is good to know

  • Hi,

    I just settled up my account. However when i withdrew $1 that was transferred to me by my friend, I am not able to top it back up into the wallet. Theoretically the $1 should be in my bank account right?

    Thanks!

    • Hi Rich. Yes, the money should not leave your account until your friend accepts the payment. If you withdrew the offer before your friend could accept it then the money should never have left your account.

  • Hi all! Do my Chinese bank card have to be applied in China? Or can I use a BOC card from a branch in Singapore?

    • Hi Amelie. Is your card an international card? This should have been specified when you got your card from BOC in Singapore, and allows you to use it both in Singapore and China in their respective currencies. If so there is a possibility it may work – you can just enter it and see if it registers okay. If it’s a regular card from a BOC Singapore branch then it probably won’t work. Either way though, just try entering it and seeing what happens. Worst comes to worst, it’ll reject your card, but there shouldn’t be any other issues.

  • Hey,
    I have just set up my wallet and linked my bank account. My problem is, that when I have the wechat language in English I cannot see any of the apps (taxi, cinema, etc.) This is only possible in Chinese.

    Any idea what is the problem? I am using Samsung Galaxy S4 I9500 Android 4.4.2

  • I have the same issue with my Iphone 5

    • Hi Pal. When you say you have the same issue, do you mean that you can’t locate the WeChat Wallet feature (as per Paul’s problem, above) or that it is not accepting your bank details (as per Irma’s problem)?

  • Hi thanks for these great instructions. I’ve just tried setting up my account but keep getting an error message which says I have entered an incorrect card number or name. I have the document the bank gave me when I got my bank account and have copied the information exactly as per what it says. My full name appears in caps so that’s what I enterered. I’m perplexed.

    • Hi Irma. Have you tried combinations of all the following:

      * Typing your name all in capitals
      * Typing your name all in lowercase
      * Putting your surname first
      * Not typing in your middle name(s)
      * Typing in your name without spaces
      * Typing your name without any apostrophes (eg. typing O’Shea as OShea)?

      • If you get “wrong bank # or ID”, that is the way!
        I solved by inserting my name all in lower cases, surname first and without spaces
        “surnamename”

        • Whoever you are, you are a genius! I had been trying every variation for 10mins but never thought of doing it like that since I thought it would be stupid, but it worked!!!!!

  • I have Wechat for my iOS device and cannot locate the Wallet feature. I downloaded the English version and even switched to the Chinese App Store on my iPhone. The feature is only available when I switch the language to Chinese. My friends have the wallet feature for their English version of the app. My app is up to date.

    • Hi Paul. Unfortunately, we aren’t sure what could be causing this. The only thing that occurs to us is that it could be a conflict arising from your iPhone’s country of origin, the language it is set to and the Apple store you are using. One of the One-Stop team had similar trouble getting the English-language version of WeChat Wallet to work on the 5C iPhone that she bought in Xi’an, but we don’t have the technical know-how or range of equipment to do a more thorough test. All we can suggest is contacting WeChat or Apple directly. Hopefully one of our readers will know of a solution…

      • Thank you for your reply. Hopefully this issue can be solved.

        • Another commenter, Aakash, has this to say:

          “I had the same problem for a long time and I finally figured out how to get the wallet feature. What I had to do was change my wechat language to Chinese, then the Wallet feature is enabled, open it just once and then you can go back and change the language back to your preferred language.”

          Does this work for you?

          • I had the exact same issue and actually did try this before, but this time I did one additional step that made it work. After you switch to Chinese (and remember how you got to that part of the menu because it’ll all be in Chinese when you want to change back), you have to make sure to CLOSE OUT WeChat. After you reopen, then your Wallet option will be there. If you don’t close out, you still won’t see it.

    • just glad to see there is a website teaching english people how to use chinese product .

    • I had the same problem for a long time and I finally figured out how to get the wallet feature. What I had to do was change my wechat language to Chinese, then the Wallet feature is enabled, open it just once and then you can go back and change the language back to your preferred language.

      The problem I have is that my passport number doesnt want to work as my ID with my Bank of China card

      • My bad, I misread step 6, I just had to enter my name in all capitals, starting with my surname and no space for my first name

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