Chinese on-demand service provider Meituan-Dianping has added a virtual credit card service to its offerings, in a bid to tap the company’s existing 435.8 million annual active users to utilize its new financial service. The firm hopes to catch up with the likes of Alibaba and JD.com as it enters China’s finance sector.
The new service, called Meituan Shenghuofei Maidan, is available on all apps operated by the company, including Meituan, Dianping, Mobike, Meituan Ridehailing, as well as external partner platforms such as ticket-selling app Maoyan Film.
Shenghuofei Maidan can be accessed via Meituan Pay, and functions just like a physical credit card, giving users the option of delaying payment for 38 days, free of interest. If the balance is settled after that time frame, then users are required to pay interest or can set up an installment plan.
The introduction of Meituan’s virtual credit card may boost Meituan Pay’s profile in a market dominated by Alipay and WeChat Pay. It may also garner a new channel of revenue for Meituan-Dianping.
Similar services exist on the more popular e-wallet platforms. Ant Financial’s Alipay rolled out Huabei years earlier, while JD.com has Baitiao. Tencent, on the other hand, is incubating its analog, called Fenfu.
Meituan also has a micro loan service called Shenghuofei Jieqian among its offerings. It can disburse up to RMB 50,000 (USD 7,200) in an application process that takes just a few minutes to complete.
“Our other services and sales revenue increased by 23.9% to RMB 4.5 billion for the third quarter of 2019, from RMB 3.6 billion for the second quarter of 2019, primarily due to the increased demand for our micro loans, B2B food distribution services, and bike-sharing services,” Meituan said in its quarterly financial report.