The Asia Pacific region is leading the world in mobile payment adoption, with over half of connected consumers in the region using their mobiles to pay for goods or services at point of sale via apps.
This is among the key findings of a survey of more than 70,000 consumers, conducted by consultancy Kantar TNS. The study pegged mobile payment penetration for Asia Pacific at 53%, compared to 33% in North America and 35% in Europe.
With smartphone users across Asia Pacific numbering over a billion, one key driver behind this trend would be the significant mobile penetration here. Moreover, the evolution of Asian chat apps to include payment options and the lack of legacy banking structures has only served to accelerate adoption.
Chat apps such as WeChat and LINE have developed numerous payment services such as WeChat Pay, Line Pay, Alipay and O! ePay to facilitate everything from taxi bookings to e-commerce sales.
Mobile payment options within these apps allow consumers to complete their purchase journey seamlessly, and also serve to help to establish these behaviors.
Many mobile-first markets such as India, Malaysia and Indonesia are also taking up the behavior, fueled by the lack of legacy banking structures. The study noted that this makes that mobile payment an especially attractive solution for connected consumers in these countries.
China, Hong Kong and South Korea are the top three mobile payment markets globally for weekly use, while Singapore is in the fourth position with the use of mobile payment identified as most prevalent among middle-aged consumers.
In Singapore, 57% of connected consumers have used mobile payment, with more than a quarter (27%) doing so on a weekly basis. This number rises among younger Singaporeans ages 16-30, where 31% use mobile payment weekly, but is highest (33%) amongst middle-aged consumers in the 31-45 age group.
Only 11% of those ages 46-65 use mobile payment on a weekly basis, however, 37% have tried it in the past, showing that they are open to sampling this kind of new technology.