Central Bank limits payment by Alipay & WeChat Pay

The People’s Bank of China (PBC) announced that new trial regulations on QR code payments made via digital wallet apps like Alipay and WeChat will go into effect starting November 1st, 2018.

Under the new regulations, the daily payment limit of each WeChat or Alipay account for payments made via static QR codes (the QR code cut-outs found at many stores and food and beverage outlets) will be capped at RMB 500.

The new regulations will also include increased security checks on transactions made viadynamic QR codes (your own personal, constantly changing QR codes on mobile phones). Starting from April 1st, 2018, transactions will be divided into four different categories—A, B, C, and D. Category D are payments of up to RMB 500, and will require little to no extra authentication from users. 

The daily payment limits for Category A users will be based on agreements made between users and operators. A RMB 5,000 and a RMB 1,000 limit will be put in place for Category B and C users respectively

The higher security level your account has, the higher daily payment limit you can have. Security checks consist of, but are not limited to, digital signatures and completed digital certificates.

The new policy aims help curb the rise in barcode scams in recent years. Scammers routinely find ways to rеplace a legitimate code with their own fake code; when a customer scans that, money is directed to the scammer instead of the vendor. Some QR codes are also embedded with viruses that are able to steal a user’s personal information.

The PBC indicated that 95 percent of barcode payments are less than RMB 500; the average transaction amount in the first half year of 2018 was RMB 108.

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