China leads the world in mobile payments

Enterprise Innovation editors
13 Jul 2018
00:00
News
Daily News

In China, with just a mobile phone in your hand, you can hop on the subway or bus, shop in a supermarket or convenience store, pay for needed supplies while on campus or settle a traffic fine via the mobile Quick Pass function.

This is now part and parcel of the daily routine for many people in China.

Today, mobile payments have seamlessly penetrated into every person's daily activities and has had a profound effect on their lives. All eyes are on China, as the world's most populous country has rapidly taken the lead into the era of mobile payment.

Ahead of the rest of the world

A survey of 18,000 consumers across 23 countries and regions by Ipsos, an international market research firm, shows that 77% of all Chinese use mobile payment services, ranking the country first in the world. The penetration rate of mobile payment in the US and Japan has so far only reached 48% and 27% respectively.

Given the size of the Chinese population, the difference is remarkable.

Taking the daily movement of its population as an example, dramatic changes have been observed in the way Chinese commuters and travelers pay when they board a bus or subway or drive a car to get where they are going, all of which has been made possible by the popularity of mobile payments.

Using UnionPay mobile payment to settle all fees that occur while in transit is now the commonly accepted way to get from point A to point B in more than 400 counties and cities across China, with the highest percentages of the population already doing so located in Shanghai, Guangzhou, Tianjin, Hangzhou, Fuzhou and Jinan.

To cite Hubei province as just one example, car owners who have added their vehicle information to the UnionPay app and set up their UnionPay payment function as the default payment option can drive through any toll plaza along the highway without stopping, and the system will automatically recognize the license plate and submit the highway toll.

Convenient mobile payment service for all payment scenarios

With the goal of improving the quality of life through service enhancements that benefit every person resident in China, a project to evidence the convenience of mobile payments under the aegis of China's central bank named the “mobile payment convenience demonstration projecttargets areas that are most likely to touch on every person's life, including what are referred to as the 10 major payment scenarios:

  • Travel by bus or subway
  • Food market and other local convenience shopping
  • Restaurant dining
  • Supermarket shopping
  • Use of public services
  • Self-service vending machines
  • On-campus activities
  • College or university cafeteria
  • Healthcare
  • Settlement of traffic fines

First published in Enterprise Innovation

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