WeChat Trials Using Blockchain Tech to Reimburse Employee Expenses

WeChat, a messaging, social media and financial services app owned by Tencent Holdings Limited, has deployed a blockchain electronic invoice system at Shenzhen Guomao Rotary Restaurant, making the city of Shenzhen the first in China to issue invoices with blockchain technology.

The blockchain invoice process, which encompasses payment, invoicing and reimbursement, was created in partnership with Shenzhen Taxation Bureau and Kingdee Software.

This system was developed to simplify the process of reimbursing company employee expenses. Previous paper and electronic invoicing processes led to a cumbersome and elongated process of invoice verification, submission, review, and tax returns filing before eventually settling with employees.

How It Works

With this blockchain invoice system, the process is substantially shortened, removing all intermediary actions between invoicing and reimbursement. Any payment made through the WeChat self-checkout is thus effectively a one-click reimbursement process.

For example, an employee of a company after having a company dinner can make payment via the WeChat mobile payment platform. The data from that transaction is the “invoice” and the information from this invoice is synchronized to the financial system of employee’s company and the tax bureau in real time.

This way, information is not tampered with or lost, thereby simplifying the process for all parties involved in the transaction namely the merchant, the employer, tax authorities, and the employee.

Merchants get to save on time and personnel since the invoices are issued automatically at checkout, rather than manual invoice issue and entry of relevant details of the employee’s company for tax purposes. The employee’s company on its part can easily verify invoice by simply logging into its financial system.

The tax regulator can then monitor the entire process of invoicing, circulation and reimbursement in real time, ensuring full and timely tax collection, while the employee can claim reimbursements online.

Tencent-Shenzen Partnership Begins to Pay Dividends

tencent blockchain

The blockchain powered invoicing solution is a product of the partnership announced in May 2018 between Tencent and The Shenzhen Municipal Office of the State Administration of Taxation.

Speaking about the development, Li Wei, deputy director of Shenzhen tax bureau, said:

“The digital invoice based on blockchain technology has features such as complete traceability of the whole process and non-disruptive information, which consistent with invoice logic, can effectively avoid false invoices, and improve the invoice supervision process.”

At present, Shenzhen Guomao Rotating Restaurant, Baoan District Sports Center Parking Lot, Kaixin Auto Trading Co., Ltd., and Image Tencent Impression Coffee Shop are the first merchants to access and utilize the blockchain electronic invoicing system.

In April, CCN reported that Tencent was developing its own blockchain platform called MySQL, a solution designed  to provide an enterprise class blockchain infrastructure to support reliable blockchain cloud services.

Images from Shutterstock

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