The WeChat explanation is due to the rapid increase in payment channel fees and the adjustments made to balance costs and development. However, at present, the fast channels of traditional financial institutions such as mobile phone APPs and UnionPay wallets of major banks and Alipay have no credit card reimbursement charges. There are certainly other demands on WeChat separate charges, and there are deeper strategic considerations behind them. The author believes that the real purpose of WeChat cash withdrawal and credit card reimbursement is to minimize the outflow of user funds and guide users to deposit funds or divert them to the management. Tencent’s longer-term goal is to establish an “ecological circle” to make more users and enterprises become part of the WeChat ecosystem.
In fact, before the new rules of WeChat credit card repayment, the withdrawal fee has been introduced. As early as 2016, WeChat stipulated that each user has a total of 1,000 yuan free withdrawal amount, and a fee of more than 1,000 yuan is charged, and the rate is 0.1%. Initially, most people get the red envelopes and then withdraw them to the bank card instead of spending them. Wechat has almost no way to keep the funds in their own systems. The transaction volume of WeChat payment surged through the withdrawal of charges. Tencent’s 2018 quarterly report shows that “the growth in payment solutions business is mainly due to the rapid growth of offline commercial payment transactions and consumer withdrawal fees”. “Cashing fees” is an important part of driving high-speed growth in revenue.
Cash withdrawals Although many funds have been successfully retained in the WeChat system, there is also a way to outflow funds, which is credit card repayment. Nowadays, the full charge of credit card repayment is equivalent to completely blocking the way of capital spillover. Of course, WeChat Wealth Management Gold, Platinum members and some fixed-time users can enjoy the free fee through the payment of the financial management, and this part of the users are the owner of the financial management.
The reason why WeChat dared to introduce cash withdrawals and credit card repayment fees lies in the tough market position of WeChat. On the one hand, it is a monopoly on social networking. Whether it is WeChat or QQ, Tencent's software almost monopolizes Chinese socialization. On the other hand, it is a monopoly in the mobile payment market, forming a situation of WeChat and Alipay. Today, WeChat is almost every application that Chinese smartphone users have installed and placed on the first screen.
Just as people in the industry spoke, at the beginning, the purpose of the C-side subsidy to do free services was to attract users. Today, WeChat payment as an industry giant has already had a considerable amount of users, and the utility of free-for-market is no longer useful.
Tencent's "new traffic monopoly" in the Internet field, large-scale investment mergers and acquisitions and even market rumors that innovative companies choose the sideline team, is the bottom line of its continuous user wool.
In fact, Tencent has now formed a monopoly position in the Internet field. This new type of monopoly can be called "new traffic monopoly", which is different from the monopoly of traditional enterprises in the real economy. Tencent has a large number of users with super-adhesiveness, and more and more companies choose to cooperate with Tencent in exchange for greater development opportunities. For any new service, relying on WeChat to start, let users choose to use WeChat account to register and log in, which is a choice that does not need to be thought of. Tencent is increasingly controlling "partners" and gradually forming a new Internet monopoly centered on it.
The famous Tencent Department "Dongxing Meal" has caused people to pay attention to this new traffic monopoly. The legendary domestic startups choose the sideline team, which also deepens people's worries about the new Internet traffic monopoly. The idea of many startups is that the main reason for Tencent's money, Tencent's traffic, and Tencent's ecology is the power of Tencent's WeChat platform. Everyone on WeChat is a potential customer or data source.
Tencent is also the most active company in China. Today, almost every Internet business has Tencent or the companies it invests in. Perhaps in the near future, we can hear a new term: WeChat ecosystem or Tencent eco-chain enterprise. And this "new traffic monopoly", I am afraid that WeChat's charge is the basis of this charge.
□ Zhu Bangling (Financial Reviewer)