In September 10th, Teachers’ day, Ma Yun officially announced the retirement of the chairman of the board of directors of Alibaba. Just in a few days, Tencent suddenly launched to “snipe” Alipay’s flower products.
It was Tencent’s star team WeChat Pay that is entering the battlefield. In the Spring Festival of 2014, it used WeChat’s red-pocket marketing campaign attacked Ma Yun’s Alipay quite hard. Ma Yun commented afterwards, “It’s really terrific. This Spring Festival’s ‘Pearl Harbor Attack’ is really planned and executed perfectly.”
And this time, can Tencent create another miracle?
It is said that Tencent is incubating a credit payment product “Funfu” (tentative product name). In the future, when users use Wechat to pay, they may use “Funfu” to pay first, then extend the time of payment within the account period or install the bill.
It is reported that the “Funfu” is expected to be launched in the fourth quarter of this year, operated by the Wechat Payment Team, and is currently in the stage of negotiation and cooperation with some banks and licensed consumer finance companies. In the future, “Funfu” may run its business in the form of loans, joint lending mode through the open white list form and banks and other financial institutions.
There was also a rumor that Wechat would launch credit payment products like Ant Credit Pay from Ali Pay and Jingdong IOU. It seems that Tencent only has this intention but it has not been implemented.
In January this year, Wechat Pay launched Wechat Pay Point, which is a product of Wechat Pay’s weapon to fight against Sesame Credit of Ant Credit Pay.
According to its official introduction, Wechat Pay points are mainly composed of three dimensions: identity characteristics, payment behavior and compliance history. If you are qualified for internal testing, you can check your Wechat Pay point and the score composition. At the same time, the entrance of Wechat Pay point will also appear in the payment of Wechat wallet.
After making a lot of money for the Ant Financial Service Group, it seems obvious to all that the profitability of the consumer finance sector is quite promising. But the threshold in this field is still relatively high. And not everybody has the courage to stand up to Alibaba.
Ant Credit Pay is Ali’s payment product officially launched in April 2015, while Jingdong IOU was launched earlier in February 2014, and it is also the first Internet consumer financial product in the industry. Jingdong IOU is similar in nature to credit cards. They are products just like loans.
For Alibaba, Taobao and Tmall are two major e-commerce brands in the system, and Jingdong IOU has Jingdong online shopping website as its pillar. But ultimately Wechat is just a social product, and there’s no e-commerce as a prerequisite.
Wechat Pay is only produced in response to the huge number of micro-credit users, which is not the main industrial chain. So for Ant Credit Pay and Jingdong IOU, Tencent does not need absolute reasons to launch similar products, which is why Tencent has not launched the function of credit payment so far.
From Tencent’s own point of view, it is also necessary to launch a product to stimulate Tencent’s financial business growth.
Nowadays, WeChat has a huge user scale of more than 1 billion, and has a very high frequency of transactions. To some extent, the introduction of distribution can effectively enhance the user’s desire to pay, while it can further increase the sales of businesses and stimulate the growth of new users.
From the first quarter of 2019, Tencent began to disclose the data of “financial technology and enterprise services” separately in its financial reports. It was not until then that the data related to its commercial payment and financial services are clearly presented to the public.
On August 14, Tencent released its second quarter unaudited earnings. According to revenue data, financial technology and enterprise services have become Tencent’s second largest business. Tencent’s financial and technological business mainly concentrates on Tencent FiT platform. From the official website data, there are four major sectors: financial management, payment, securities and innovative finance.
At present, there is a lack of consumer finance. Data show that now Ant Credit Pay has 300 million users, and in 2017, its revenue was 6 billion 596 million yuan, and its net profit was 3 billion 400 million yuan.
According to data from Analysys International, for the 4th quarter of 2018, Alipay accounts for 53.78% of the market share of mobile payment, ranking the first, while Tencent Financial Technology is 38.87%. The market share of Alipay and Tencent Financial Technology reached 92.65%, occupying the absolute leading position.
WeChat’s financial technology has become more and more important in Tencent, but there is still a big gap with Alipay. With the promotion of the commercial status of Wechat Pay and the maturity of the payment scenario of Wechat Pay, it might be just right time for Funfu to enter the market.