WeChat—also known as Weixin in China—is an integrated lifestyle platform for instant messaging, commerce and payment services from Tencent Holdings Ltd., a provider of Internet value-added services in China. There were more than 963m monthly active users on WeChat and Weixin as of second quarter 2017.
Costa launched the first Mini Program to book and pay for a cruise on the WeChat platform Aug. 8. The Mini Program allows WeChat users to instantly open and access services inside WeChat without having to download the full stand-alone mobile app.
The WeChat Mini Program has been enhanced to include on-board entertainment booking and payment, among other functions. Using the program, Costa cruisers will be able to browse and book specialty restaurants, spa, duty-free shopping and other services through their ship's free Intranet, without subscribing to on-board Internet services.
'With China being one of the world's leaders in mobile and digital advancements, we see great potential in leveraging WeChat's leading position and technologies to not only facilitate hassle-free payment, but also provide a more immersive and digitized on-board experience for our guests,' said Mario Zanetti, president of Costa Group Asia.