For most of us, buying any type of goods or services overseas is nothing out of the ordinary. We have been a bit spoiled in that regard, as we can pretty much buy anything in the world by using the Internet. But for other parts of the world, such as China, buying goods or services online is not as easy as you would expect. Have no fear however, as WeSecretary helps you in that regard, and they accept Bitcoin payments.
WeSecretary – Buying Goods and Paying Bills in China as a Foreigner
In order to understand how the WeSecretary service actually works, we need to go back in time a bit. As a foreigner living in China, paying your bills and buying goods and services online is not a natural occurrence, to say the least. As you may have guessed, the Chinese ecosystem is locked down tightly, and payments can only be done with China-issued credit cards and currencies. And in most cases, you will also need a local ID card.
“Buying online is often impossible with a foreign credit card (you often need a Chinese ID card too). And there are lots of little things (paying your phone bill, buying water, arranging house-cleaning, replacing air filters) that aren’t impossible if you speak Mandarin, but are still a hassle to arrange,” – WeSecretary Co-founder Daniel Worlton told BitcoinAliens.
Daniel Worlton – an applied linguistics graduate student – co-founded WeSecretary, together with internet cafe owner Dave Lancashire. Finding like-minded people in a country such as China is not that common, yet expats always have a way to run into each other. And as it turns out, both of these expats have run into the same kind of issues.
In order to overcome those hurdles, Daniel and Dave came up with their own platform, called WeSecretary. The company – which only a few days old – has one major goal in mind: paying for goods and services should be equally easy for foreigners as it is for Chinese nationals. By using the very popular social messaging application WeChat, the company sends out all of their communication and instruction to their user base.
Bitcoin Plays An Important Role
“Just because we accept international credit cards doesn’t mean that is the most efficient way to charge our customers. The savings from the lower fees associated with Bitcoin transactions are passed directly on to our customers. Bitcoin also eliminates the risk of chargeback fraud, so we require new users making large purchases to settle in BTC.” – Daniel Worlton told us.
Even though WeSecretary only launched a handful of days ago, there seems to be a genuine demand for such a service. What may be a more interesting fact is that the majority of WeSecretary users chooses to settle their payments in Bitcoin. After all, Bitcoin is a universal currency that can even bypass China’s “walls”.
However, there are a few asterisks to be made to this story as well. FIrst of all, WeSecretary charges a steep 10% fee for their services rended. Settling your payment in Bitcoin or any low cost method will make you eligible for a discount though. And it is important to keep in mind that higher fees are charged for individual tasks, rather than subscriptions.
Speaking of subscriptions, this is where WeSecreatary will try to make a major impact. Monthly subscriptions are at your disposal, which will cost significantly less compared to individual purchases or tasks. WeSecretary is not just a virtual assistant, as this platform could prove to be invaluable in terms of navigating Chinese businesses as a foreigner.
“There are many ‘virtual secretaries’ (often based in India), but they mostly sell things like data entry and factory sourcing, i.e. a way for businesses to outsource. We don’t know a single expat who uses them. For the things WeSecretary does most people will ask friends or coworkers for help, or simply live without,” – Daniel Worlton concludes.