The Next Web reports that WeChat is going international in a different way to WhatsApp.

M-commerce isn’t a new idea for other chat apps too — Japanese messaging service Line has, for example, dabbled in selling items via its app. Just yesterday, it announced it was going to hold a flash sale for users in Thailand via a partnership with all-in-one e-commerce logistics firm aCommerce and L’Oreal’s Maybelline New York.

However, as Chinese Internet giant Tencent also owns payment service Tenpay, WeChat’s team can easily tap on the technology to settle the necessary backend work. Tencent already rolled out an update to Weixin in August, incorporating payment services. All users have to do is link an online banking account to Weixin to pay for items and they are good to go.

I believe this is just the tip of the iceberg. Tencent can also tap on location data to push location-specific deals to users and allow them to pay using their phone. There is a lot of potential in that without even factoring in the impact of iBeacons.