The Bank of Maldives (BML) has announced the integration of WeChat Pay, a popular Chinese payment application, into its point-of-sale (POS) terminal network to enhance the customer experience and accommodate the growing number of Chinese tourists. Previously available only on the BML Payment Gateway, WeChat Pay will now allow merchants across the country to accept QR payments, marking a significant expansion in the bank’s digital payment options.

“We have started the rollout of WeChat Pay at merchants at Velana International Airport’s duty-free shopping,” said Moosa Nimal, the bank’s Director of Retail, Business and SME Banking. “By accepting WeChat Pay on the bank’s POS network, we are paving the way for more than 1 billion active users of the Weixin and WeChat platform to make payments at merchants across Maldives.”

The move is part of BML’s broader strategy to enhance the payment experience for its customers and merchants. “Today’s announcement means we are now able to offer our customers the choice and convenience to choose their preferred way to pay,” Nimal added.

The introduction of WeChat Pay comes as the number of Chinese tourists visiting the Maldives continues to rise. China is currently the top tourism source market for the Maldives, accounting for 11.1 percent of the total market share, with 92,292 Chinese tourists welcomed this year as of 14 May. The government plans to maintain China as the top source market for the Maldives’ tourism sector this year.

The integration of WeChat Pay into BML’s POS terminals is set to significantly enhance the payment experience for Chinese tourists. They had maintained their position as the Maldives’ top source market until the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, which led to disruptions in international travel and caused India to take over as the top source market.

BML, the leading provider of merchant payment solutions in the Maldives, currently accepts payments from all major debit and credit cards, including American Express, Visa, Mastercard, and Union Pay, as well as digital wallets such as BML Pay, Ali Pay, Apple Pay, and Google Pay.

In addition to POS terminals, the bank’s Merchant Portal and mPOS App enable merchants to accept payments online anywhere, send payment requests, check transactions, and manage online stores.