Travelex launches partnership with Swych and WeChat

Bringing cashless shopping at hundreds of U.S. retailers

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A strategic partnership between Travelex and Swych brings cashless shopping at hundreds of U.S. retailers to WeChat’s one billion monthly users, targeting over 800 million WeChat Pay users.

Travelex Pay, a new service within global mobile messaging app WeChat, launched today in the U.S. market. Travelex Pay is powered by the global digital gifting platform Swych and distributed by the cross-border financial services firm Travelex. Aimed at simplifying cashless spending, Travelex Pay is available now to travelers from mainland China who are visiting the United States. The program enables WeChat users to utilize digital gift cards offered by Swych to easily spend at U.S. retailers directly within the WeChat app and use funding methods available inside users’ WeChat Pay account.

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Powered by Swych, which has more than 700 major retail partners globally, Travelex Pay seamlessly, securely, and instantly debits a traveller’s WeChat Pay account while simultaneously providing a digital gift card of the equivalent desired amount to be used as a payment method at checkout. This is equally advantageous for retailers who benefit from accepting a new payment method at checkout that extends coverage to more than 3 million Chinese travelers that come to the U.S. annually. In 2016, tourists from mainland China are reported to have spent $30 billion in the U.S. which is expected to double to $60 billion by 2020. Travelex Pay will simplify shopping for Chinese travellers by offering a convenient shopping experience that is instant, digital and within their favourite mobile app that they regularly open multiple times a day.

Travelex Pay provides a smart digital checkout experience within the Wechat app. For completing the purchase of goods at a participating Swych retailer in the USA, an electronic gift card is generated through WeChat Pay app by the user, and the user’s WeChat Pay wallet account is instantly debited in their home currency. The cashier then scans the barcode or enters the number at checkout and the retailer gets paid instantly in USD. Gift cards can be created by the user either while at the checkout or at any point before purchase.

Swych’s retailer network covers all popular shopping categories including the luxury segment, department stores, big box, dining, fashion, entertainment, sports, electronics and travel. Swych’s advanced payment processing, fraud management and strong anti-money laundering controls further makes the solution a perfect fit for solving this large pain point for Chinese shoppers in the US.

CEO and Founder of Swych, Deepak Jain, said “Chinese tourism in the U.S. is increasing – both in number of people and the amount of money spent. With more than 90 percent of Chinese tourists expressing interest in using mobile payments overseas if given the choice, Swych, Travelex, with WeChat Pay, have combined service offerings to fill the demand for a frictionless and zero-fee payment option. This is yet another innovation aimed at furthering cross border commerce and making Swych the most advanced digital gifting platform in the market.”

“Swych and Travelex Pay are making cross-border shopping more seamless for Chinese WeChat customers who visit the US and use Travelex Pay. We are excited about this partnership and to provide Chinese consumers a cutting edge, digital payments experience.” said James Hewitt, Travelex CEO for North America.

With over 800 million WeChat Pay active users and over 1 billion overall active users, WeChat Pay’s performance capabilities range from communication, to finance, to retail, to social, making this a seamless solution to an integrated app that is already part of the consumer’s everyday lives.

Travelex Pay eliminates many of the common headaches involved with overseas travel by allowing for direct currency conversion and zero added fees right in the palm of the consumer’s hand. The program is available now through WeChat, which can be downloaded on iOS and Android.