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Where to pay bills in China?

Paying utility bills is a simple process after learning and discovering the procedures. It can be done through multiple methods, such as in convenience stores, post offices, through your phone or on a website. Although it seems easy, it can still be troublesome depending on where you are located in China. The confusing thing about it is that the available payment methods vary from region to region and city to city. Using your phone to pay for your utilities is the simplest and most convenient payment method, but this is unfortunately untill this day only possible in a few cities. In most of the cities traditional payment methods are applicable: website or convenience store.

In this post we will go over the various payment methods that can be used in China in order to pay for your utility costs.

At the Convenience Store

The simplest option of all for anyone without Chinese language resources, almost any convenience store will be able to scan the barcode on your paper bill and pay it into your utilities account in real time.

One half of the perforated form is torn off and received at the counter; a receipt is stapled to the other half which doubles as a legal fapiao.

Almost any convenience store such as Family Mart, Kedi, Hongqi Chain and Lawson’s will be able to handle bill payments.

Through Your Bank

If you can handle the pain, most banks will allow you to sign up for bill payments directly through them. You’ll need to at least take a copy of the bill to the bank beforehand to sign up and ‘turn on’ this function.

This is a convenient option because you can deposit funds into any ATM of your bank which then transfers directly to your utilities company account. You’re also able to pay through your bank’s website, but again this is only possible if the function has been activated beforehand at the bank.

Online Payments

The simplest way to pay for utilities is online. Both WeChat and Alipay have English interfaces and allow users to top up their water, gas, electricity, and mobile phones. The first step is to open a domestic bank account and enable online banking in person.

To pay electricity, link your utilities account to the payment platform, then specify the amount of money you want to recharge. To complete the transaction, enter your six-digit Alipay or WeChat Wallet payment PIN.

For water or gas, input the invoice number (nine digits for water and 10-11 digits for gas) into the relevant field in Alipay or WeChat Wallet. The system will automatically pull up your account balance, then you can pay as normal.

Websites

On the back of each bill that you get in the mail, there will be some text describing the different ways that you can pay your bill. Among the options, there should be a few websites listed where you can pay your bill. One of the common ones is www.ezhangdan.com. To use this website you must first register, if you aren’t registered already. 

Once registered and signed in to the system, you are greeted with the following page, this page gives you an overview of your account and allows you to select which utility service that you would like to pay for. Click “Pay Bill”(付账单)in the top menu on the right displayed below. 

After you click “Pay Bill” you will be presented with the next screen which is where you enter in your the information from your bill so that the system can find your account and the amount you owe. Here are the steps needed to find your bill: 

Select Service.

Select Your Service Provider(in Chinese, compare the names against your bill).

After that you must select whether if you would like to use your account number or the barcode number to look up your bill.

Both are available on the front of your bill. See the picture to the right for reference.

Enter in either your account or bar code number.

Select the billing period of the bill you’d like to pay. 

Click confirm.

After clicking confirm you will see the amount that you need to pay. If the balance is correct, click “支付“ to pay. Once you click “支付” you will be presented with options to pay. See below.

For the purpose of this article we are going to select “WeChat Pay”. To pay with WeChat pay you have to make sure that you have set up WeChat Pay on your device. Here is a tutorial on how to set that up. To pay with WeChat, pull out your phone, scan the QR code and voila! Your bill has been paid.

These are pretty much all the payment methods which can be used in order to pay for the utilities, per city the payment methods differ. As mentioned before it depends quite a lot on how developed the city is. Just like there can be found different types of foods everywhere in the country and different norms , it is the same for the payments for utility bills , it differ pretty much everywhere. Therefore , if you want to know which payments can be used in the city you are located in , please get in touch with one of our Maxxelli consultants in order to provide you with tailored-made information,

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