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The research firm Morningstar has predicted that the Chinese app company WeChat will expand its mobile payments service internationally this year.
WeChat is the most popular social messaging app in China, with around 650 million monthly active users.
Its mobile payments service, WeChat Pay, has proved extremely popular in China, with 60% of Chinese users signing up to the service.
Morningstar has predicted that WeChat will expand its payments service to other Asian countries after noting that its parent company Tencent recently invested in the South Korean online bank Kakao Bank.
The most likely candidate markets for expansion are Hong Kong, Singapore and Malaysia, with WeChat already having a strong presence in each of these countries.
Before it can expand into any new countries it will face challenges, however, such as obtaining licenses and figuring out a way to ensure transaction security.