The Prologue (or wechat pay “THE GREAT” customer journey)

Let the writing spree begin again! First of all, let me provide some context to this travel. I am going to be a student again although for just a week. IESE is a top business school that currently provides a summer week of MBA experience in BARCELONA (wooooo!) for young graduates around the world. With a kind scholarship in conjunction with my university, I am heading off to a week of 8am – 4pm cases discussion. Oh, how I’ve missed school 🙂 can’t wait to feel like a sponge bob again.

So thanks to my understanding boss and a luxury of paid dayoffs, I get to do some travelling as well after Barcelona in Sevilla and London, two brand new cities I have never been to!

So now is a good time to write a little prologue as I have already experienced so much before even stepping foot in foreign land!

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Right now is 10pm and I am waiting to board my first Air China flight from Shenzhen airport. Shenzhen airport is way better than I expected. It is like the HKIA T2, both in size and traffic. Except police here are on Segway!

Did you know there are shuttle bus that brings you directly from Times Square to Shenzhen Airport? Actually there isn’t. You have to get off at Shenzhen bay anyways, get through immigration and take a bus to airport again. Luckily, I have buffered plenty of time and got to airport 3 hours ahead. This gave me the luxury to have a good leisure dinner.IMG_8156

Then I remembered, I didn’t bring any renminbi… but well we live in a digital era so I will just use a credit car…but oh wait, I saw a little sign saying they support wechatpay and other electronic payments hmmm interesting. Given that I have collected so many red packets through wechat, I have a good 200 something renminbi in my account but never knew how to use it; this seemed like the perfect time to try it out! I quickly entered my credit card details, and went to order food with an experimental mindset. I ordered my food and asked can I pay with this? (gesturing my iphone

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Then the cashier lady looked at me like I’m from the stoned age and just scanned right away with her barcode scanner. Voila! And it’s done! I was still in shocked when my food came. I mean…this is not the China I know…since when do they have more advance technology than Hong Kong? I’m sure this isn’t rocket science, but such adoption is still relatively low in Hong Kong. Imagine Chuiwah or Taihing supporting wechat pay 😉 I am still glad to feel like I have not paid a penny for this $41 RMB meal which tasted better than it looks! It was also such a seamless payment experience, without having to even reach for your wallet, let alone touch those disgustingly dirty full of germs and god-knows-what coins and notes.

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Dinner at this Chinese fast food chain “Real Kungfu” (which I highly doubt they own the IP to use Bruce Lee’s image but we are in China after all, so what’s an IP anyway :P)

Boarding soon and hopefully both the inflight meals and entertainment is good! (updated: meals were okay but entertainment system was shit…same as the ones I had when I was 8, fixed low res programs that kept looping -_-)

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P.S. ANOTHER equally if not even more mindblown moment: Wechat pay works on vending machines too! But instead of letting a barcode scanner read my wechat code, I use my wechat QR code reader to scan the vending machine screen. THEN magically, I got a bottle of water…what is this, a wechat marketing campaign to capture authentic customer satisfying journey in airport hahaha?

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P.P.S I couldn’t upload this in Shenzhen airport as I don’t have a China mobile no. to verify for wifi nor would it recognize my boarding pass…huge minus point for this shitty airport. LUCKILY I have wechat on my iphone, so I could verify via the mighty mighty wechat. At least got wifi on my phone.

Has anyone tried electronic payments method and how did you feel about it? 🙂

written in Shenzhen airport, updated in Frankfurt airport.

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