Payment systems, Alternative business models| #13

Skipped a week of weeknotes because I was traveling and getting distracted by being home.

This is the first time I’m using Alipay and WeChat Pay and it’s so fascinating to participate in this ecosystem. There hasn’t been a store/place that doesn’t accept one of those payment. In fact, most places don’t accept credit cards and only accept Alipay or WeChat Pay (this is due to the face that shops need to pay a deposit to rent the device to accept payment, and accepting multiple forms of payments means paying for lots of deposit $$$)

Below is a version of Square in China, the main difference here is that there’s a camera for scanning QR code. Another difference is that, every store I’ve been to almost always has a different payment machine/device, probably because each comes with different features and are sold at a different price point.

payment device in Shanghai

I recently watched Connie Chan’s video on alternative business models in China, and it’s pretty inspiring to see all of those business models all-at-once. In America, and most of the world, there exist three different models: subscription-based, ad-based (hence attention-based), and/or a mix of both. In China, there are ebook apps where you only need to pay to unlock the ending, or you pay by the # of characters you read, there are streaming services where you pay only after watching the first five minutes of the movie, or you pay by tipping the authors/creators.

This is a great motivation for pursuing alternative business models when creating digital and analog products.