China Mobile Payment Penetration Rate

In the current era, payment methods are no longer limited to only cash and credit cards, but now, payment can be made via mobile devices (smartphones and tablets). Credit card, “mobile” and other payment methods other than cash may be referred to as “cashless” payments. And now, as IT advances, cashless payments are being utilized all over the world. China is a country whose cashless system is expanding at a phenomenal rate, and the penetration rate of mobile payment is particularly high.

Here we will explain why China is thriving on mobile payments and also the high penetration rate of mobile payments.

Mobile payment

Mobile (smartphone and tablet) payment means “payment performed from a mobile device instead of with cash or a credit card”.

Mobile payment penetration rate in China

Compared to 6% in Japan and the United States, the penetration rate of mobile payments in China is estimated at 98%. This helps to illustrate the relatively large mobile payment market in China.

So why is China utilizing mobile payments so much more than other countries? And, on the contrary, why have mobile payments not progressed as far in Japan or the United States?

Why Mobile Payments are popular in China

So why have mobile payments become so widespread in China? This is because:

Many more companies accept mobile payments

One of the main reasons for mobile payments’ unprecedented growth in China is that there are far more mobile-payment-friendly companies in China than in other countries. For example, many restaurants in Japan accept credit card payments but do not accept payments with smartphones or tablets. It seems that in China, you can even pay for parking or at market and food stalls via mobile payment.

Connectivity between mobile payment apps and bank accounts

In China, there is little hassle when paying for things via mobile payment services, this is because you can link your personal bank accounts with the two major payment apps, the Alipay and WeChat Pay. This means there is no hassle in having to transfer funds to utilize the mobile payment services.

In other words, as the number of users of these two major payment apps increases, the penetration rate of mobile payments also increases simultaneously.

Remittances between individuals are also widespread

In China, in addition to making payments using smartphones and tablets for goods and services, mobile remittances are also frequent among individuals. Thus in China, mobile payments are a better substitute for money than in other countries, which helps to explain the reduced resistance to these mobile payments in China.


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