The Chinese Consulate General in New York on Wednesday introduced mobile payments for its consular services charges, becoming the first Chinese diplomatic mission in the United States to adopt this form of payment.
Besides for traditional cash and credit card payments, WeChat pay and Alipay are now available for clients, which is expected to greatly shorten the transaction time.
The payments can be made in Chinese Yuan only, with the original U.S. dollar amount converted by the exchange rate by WeChat pay and Alipay. There will be no other additional charges for the transactions.
According to Huang Ping, the Chinese consul-general in New York, there are over 1.2 million overseas Chinese in the 10 states on the U.S. East Coast that belong to his consular district, and most of their mobile phones are equipped with WeChat pay or Alipay thanks to the rapid growth and ever-increasing popularity of mobile payments back in China over the recent years.
"We should keep pace with the times, provide more convenience for these potential clients, and make our services better and more efficient," said Huang, adding that the new payment service also covers non-Chinese clients who use WeChat pay and Alipay.
In the past year, the Chinese Consulate General in New York has rolled out a slew of measures to its services, including online passport renewal application, reduced processing times, lower charges, and simplified application requirements, according to Consul-general Huang.