China’s internet giant Tencent is developing a payment product called Fenfu, which bears similar functionalities of a credit card, and is expected to go live within WeChat Pay in the fourth quarter of this year, according to local Chinese media outlet Xinliu Caijing.
Currently, WeChat Pay, which has more than 800 million users, only bundles with its users’ debit and credit cards issued by regular banks. On the other hand, Ant Financial’s Alipay and JD.com’s payment platforms not only enable payments via bank cards, but also have their own virtual credit payment tools called Huabei and Baitiao respectively.
The new Fenfu tool will allow users who cannot get a credit card from a bank to have a virtual one via WeChat. In addition, it will grant loans which can be interest-free for about one month, plus other micro-credits options and long-term financial services. The new payment platform could bring Tencent additional revenues by charging users service installment and late payment fees.
Tencent said its fintech and business services revenues were RMB 22.9 billion (USD 3.2 billion) in the second quarter of this year, up 37% year-on-year. This segment grew faster than its gaming, online advertisement, and digital content businesses.
By the end of 2018, outstanding loans on JD’s Baitiao amounted to RMB 34.4 billion, while by the end of the first half of 2017, outstanding loans on Huabei reached RMB 99.2 billion, according to Xinliu Caijing.
Tencent has not responded to KrASIA‘s request for comments.