Digital gifting platform Swych partnered with WeChat and Travelex this week, announcing that its blockchain-based gift card technology will power Travelex’s Travelex Pay, a cashless spending tool hosted within messaging app WeChat.
Travelex Pay will enable Chinese travelers visiting the U.S. to use digital gift cards on the Swych platform to make purchases at U.S. retailers within the WeChat app using funds in their WeChat Pay account. To make a purchase at one of the 700 retailers participating with Swych, WeChat’s 800 million WeChat Pay users can use Travelex Pay to generate an electronic gift card close to the purchase amount, and WeChat automatically deducts the amount in their home currency in real time. To complete the purchase, the cashier either scans a barcode or enters a payment code and receives payment in USD.
The gift cards are fee-free and help users avoid foreign exchange fees which could add up to 3% to 5% of their purchase. However, as a potential added cost to users (and potential benefit to retailers), users can only purchase gift cards in increments of $10.
“Chinese tourism in the U.S. is increasing – both in number of people and the amount of money spent,” CEO and Founder of Swych, Deepak Jain, said. “With more than 90 percent of Chinese tourists expressing interest in using mobile payments overseas if given the choice, Swych, Travelex, with WeChat Pay, have combined service offerings to fill the demand for a frictionless and zero-fee payment option. This is yet another innovation aimed at furthering cross border commerce and making Swych the most advanced digital gifting platform in the market.”
According to Jing Travel, Swych not only plans to add retailers to the platform, it also hopes to launch Travelex Pay in geographies other than the U.S. that are popular with Chinese tourists. There are no plans in place currently, however, to expand Travelex Pay outside of the WeChat ecosystem.
At FinovateSpring earlier this year, Swych demonstrated how it facilitates cross-border money transfers using its digital gifting platform in a presentation that won the company Best of Show. With 50+ employees, Swych boasts 50,000 registered users in the U.S., 100,000 users in India, and more than 50 corporate customers. Earlier this year, the Texas-based company announced it is leveraging its recent acquisition of GiftCardsIndia to facilitate cross-border gifting between the U.S. and India.