Will mobile payment replace cash in China?


More than 20 percent of Chinese mobile users think digital payment will replace cash transactions in the future, while security concerns over leaking of personal information are rising, a latest report finds out.

The report, released by the Payment and Clearing Association of China, also found that 89.1 percent of the users are happy to pay using a QR code, while the remaining 10.9 percent refuse.

When it comes to taking public transport, nearly 40 percent of the users pay for their tickets by scanning a QR code, while 33 percent use the mobile phone (NFC) system, and 23 percent pay with bank or travel cards.

Low credit card usage, and increasing popularity of eCommerce coupled with a growing middle class in China have accelerated the growth of mobile payments in the country.

Last year, over half of users called for better mobile payment applications for public transport, hospitals, and expressways, and over 40 percent wanted better mobile payment apps for parking services and utility bills.

Security concerns are also rising as mobile payments continue to soar in popularity.

Eighty-one percent of users worried about their personal information being leaked.

Seventy percent considered that they may accidentally scan a fake QR code. 67.5 percent feared that using mobile payments could leave their bank accounts prone to theft.

Over 40 percent chose not to send their payment codes to others.

Such concerns require market players to take more effective measures to strengthen the protection of users’ security and privacy, said the People’s Daily.

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Cross-Border Payment Increasing

China has also seen an increase in cross-border payment transactions, primarily due to growth in sectors such as eCommerce, travel and overseas education, according to another similar reported recent released by Frost & Sullivan.

Nearly 65 percent of Chinese tourists have used mobile payments abroad, approximately six times higher than the average non-Chinese traveler, it suggested.

“In China, eCommerce is a powerful incentive for users to purchase smartphones that enable mobile payment features,” said Mei Lee Quah, Industry Principal Analyst, Information & Communication Technologies (ICT) Practice, Digital Transformation at Frost & Sullivan.

The market of mobile payments services in China is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 21.8 percent from 2017 to 2023, growing three-fold from US$29.93 trillion to US$96.73 trillion.

The total number of active mobile payment customers is expected to reach 956 million by 2023 from 562 million in 2017 which will attract additional investments from mobile payments market participants.


The report also offers detailed analysis of the mobile payment market in China with a focus on key market players such as AliPay and WeChat Pay, and their business and revenue models.

The Chinese market for mobile payment offers not only market opportunities for solution providers intending to operate within the domestic market but also learning points for global mobile payment solution providers, it suggests.



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