How to setup WeChat: step by step

So you’ve mined your contacts for friends, you’re assiduously posting selfies and videos to your Moments feed and now you’re hoping to get in on on some of the fun to be had with WeChat bucks.

Fun you say? What do you do exactly with the WeChat monies?

Well how’s about paying bills for example? Or buying stuff from Taking taxis with Didi Chuxing? What if, say, you wanted to help out a buddy with his credit card payments? All of this can be done within WeChat, the largest social network in China.

So how about you show me how to get in on some of this action then?

With pleasure.

This tutorial is designed for non-Chinese users – or users without Chinese National Identity cards – and all users regardless will need the following things before beginning:

  • A Chinese bank account with Internet access enabled
  • Your six digit Internet banking password (which may be distinct from your pin number)
  • A smartphone in English with Internet access
  • Access to the mobile phone number you set up your bank account with
  • The latest version of WeChat installed on your smartphone
  • Your passport

Caveat: these instructions have been verified to work with users of Android and with ICBC accounts – specifically my situation – and following these instructions for users of different bank accounts may produce different results. In any case, when in doubt, get an ICBC account – new accounts cost next to nothing in China!


Let the games begin!


Fire up WeChat and head to the “Me” section on the bottom right hand corner of your phone.


Select “Wallet” in the middle of your screen.


On the top right hand corner you should see something that says “Bank Card”, click on it.


add card
Select “Add a Card”.


card no.
Input your name and bank card number into the appropriate fields. It is important here to note that you must print your name exactly as it has been recorded by the bank. This may require you to reverse the order of your name or input your name in capitals.


On the following screen you will be asked to confirm your card details, your identification and your phone number. For ID you will likely need to set it to passport and enter in the corresponding number (again, your name format will need to match records from the bank). Input the mobile phone number you set up your bank account with in the “Phone” field.


Under “Card Type” select either Debit or Credit Card and select the issuing bank for your card, then press “Done” in the top right.


verify phone
Wait to receive the SMS verification code on your mobile, then input it in the appropriate box. Following this stage you may be prompted to input your six digit internet banking password


At the final stage you will likely be asked to create a six digit password distinct from your bank card password.


Voila! And now the magic of couch-bound food delivery, personal assistants at the fingertip and when you bother to leave the house, cashless payments!


(Feature Image credit: Baidu Image)

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