The battle is especially intense because hundreds of millions of smartphone users and businesses have embraced payment via phone in China, where credit-card use is limited.
Tencent—whose WeChat app has 762 million monthly active users—is spending heavily on discounts and distinct features, as well as making alliances to allow it to offer more on-demand services.
The aim: win over hundreds of millions of Alipay users like Wang Wei.
Payment platforms enable them to collect more data on transactions, which can help them tailor financial services from wealth management to consumer lending.
Since February, Tencent has also been trying to get more overseas stores to accept WeChat Pay.
Alipay already offers a wide range of overseas payment services for Chinese travelers.