Payment Service Guide for Overseas Visitors to China

By That's, July 1, 2024

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First up, welcome to the land of pandas!

This Payment Service Guide is designed to ensure a seamless and secure payment experience during your stay. 

Whether you prefer using overseas bank cards, cash, mobile payment, or e-CNY, we've got you covered.

Pay with Overseas Bank Cards

Overseas bank cards bearing logos such as Visa, Mastercard, and JCB are widely accepted across China, including airports, hotels, shopping malls, restaurants, tourist attractions, and exhibition centers. 

If unsure, simply inquire with the cashier. 

Chinese bank cards bearing UnionPay are universally accepted at all merchants with POS terminals.


  • Contact your bank to verify that your card is accepted in the Chinese mainland.

  • Some cards may require prior approval from the issuer.

Pay with Cash

There are several convenient options for withdrawing or exchanging RMB cash:

1. Bank branches: Look for branches with 'Currency Exchange' signs.

2. Self-Service Machines: Withdraw cash at ATMs or CRS machines.

3. Franchised Institutions for Foreign Currency Exchange: Exchange currencies at designated counters.

4. Foreign Currency Exchange Agencies: Exchange currencies at agencies, often located in hotels.

5. Foreign Currency Exchange Machines: Utilize machines with a valid ID card or passport.


  • Did you know you can use WeChat or Alipay official accounts for exchange locations and reservations?

  • Some machines offer e-CNY top-up services.

Mobile Payment


Image courtesy of Alipay+

Enjoy the convenience of mobile payment with apps such as UnionPay, Alipay, Weixin Pay, and select overseas e-wallets.

1. UnionPay: Download the app, register, and apply for a Tour card.

2. Alipay: Download the app, register, and add a bank card.

3. Weixin Pay: Register on WeChat, add a bank card, and activate Weixin Pay.


  • Simplified registration processes are available.

  • First-time users can start with Weixin Pay without full verification.

  • Overseas mobile numbers can be linked.

READ MORE: International Travelers Can Now Use Alipay in China. Here's How...

4. Pay with Overseas E-Wallets:

  • UnionPay-powered e-wallets: Scan and pay at UnionPay merchants.

  • Alipay+ Wallet: Pay where Alipay is accepted.

Bank Account Service

Open a bank card account at local branches in the city you are visiting with valid ID card or passport, following international due diligence standards.

Pay with e-CNY

Use e-CNY, China's digital legal tender, widely accepted in retail, transportation, and tourism. 

Register with your Chinese or overseas mobile number, top up with Visa or Mastercard, and easily transfer balances back to your bank card.

For any further assistance, these hotlines can save your day:

UnionPay: +86-95516

Alipay: +86-571 2688 6000

Weixin Pay: +86-95017

Enjoy your stay in China with hassle-free payments!

[Cover image via Sina Tech]

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