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New automated payment system for airport retail

Targeting at China’s growing set of wealthy tourists, the primary mobile payment platform in Vietnam VIMO has signed entered into a strategic e-payment partnership with Southern Airports Services Joint Stock Company (SASCO), who operates the retail services at Ho Chi Minh City’s international airport.

VIMO is a mobile wallet and mobile payment platform available in Vietnam; and SASCO operates the largest network of duty-free shops, retail outlets, business class lounges, and food chains at airports in Vietnam.

The agreement is to accept the WeChat Pay (Weixin Pay) system from Chinese tourists at the array of duty free stores at the airport. The long-term aim is to expand the service to other airports in Vietnam.

WeChat is a social media service with 938 million monthly active users. A function of the service is electronic payments; with this WeChat Pay has 600 million active users. The service is operated by the Chinese company Tencent.

January 2, 2018 launch

The new airport service becomes effective from January 2, 2018. The system works by allowing Chinese travelers shopping in Vietnam to use WeChat mobile application to scan a QR-code, generated by cashier, at checkout. This automates the payment processing by enabling payments to be made quickly and easily; and without the need for cash or credit cards.

Commenting on the new payments system, Nguyen Van Hung Cuong, of SASCO, said: “SASCO is always ahead of the trends, leveraging technology to optimize business and bring convenience and high quality products to customers.”

The retailer adds: “Our plan for 2018 is to accept WeChat payment through VIMO at all airport outlets to create convenience for Chinese customers,” said Mr., Deputy General Director of SASCO.”

U.K. option via SafeCharge

In related news, Tencent has recently partnered with German payments firm Wirecard to allow European retailers to accept WeChat pay as a payment option. The service is also available in the U.K. The focus is with Camden market, an area popular with tourists. SafeCharge, a company that helps businesses process payments, took notice and has updated its point-of-sale software, has enabled WeChat Pay to be made available for market stall holders.

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Dr. Tim Sandle is Digital Journal's Editor-at-Large for science news. Tim specializes in science, technology, environmental, business, and health journalism. He is additionally a practising microbiologist; and an author. He is also interested in history, politics and current affairs.

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