Mobile payments are fast becoming the go-to payment solution. Why carry cash (or even a wallet or purse for that matter) when you can conclude a transaction using a mobile device and your thumb print.
Unsurprisingly, China is leading the way accounting for more than 60% of the world's mobile payment users. From on-demand ride services to street market traders, mobile payment is the first (and in some cases, only) payment option.
Following the Chinese New Year holiday period, three mobile pay companies — Alipay, WeChat Pay and U.S. mobile payment partner Citcon — have released data on who’s been spending and where.
Jing Daily have helpfully looked at the stats and there are 3 key points to note:
1. Use is widespread across China: It's not just Beijing and Shanghai (where most luxury brands are based) that have seen the rise in mobile payments but in "third" and "fourth" tier cities as well. These smaller cities account for 40% of mobile payment spending across China. This is not just a "big" city trend.
2. Generation X: Alipay has reported a 230% increase on last year of Gen X users facilitating transactions via its app and a 250% increase on their spending abroad. Is it time the West invests more in facilitating mobile payments to capitalise on transactions from overseas visitors?
3. Embraced by the West: It appears I'm about to answer my own question! WeChat figures show that France is now in the top 10 countries accepting WeChat Pay (most are countries neighbouring China) and in the US, the number of merchants accepting Chinese mobile payments rose by 800% in luxury and fashion retail sales in 2018.
Despite its explosive growth, mobile wallet technology is still in its infancy but watch this space.
As consumers from around the globe continue to embrace technology and convenience (and spend their hard earned cash abroad), expect to see WeChat Pay signs on POS materials and checkouts in stores near you.
It’s no surprise that Chinese tourists now prefer to shop abroad using mobile payment platforms like Alipay and WeChat Pay, and both services have seen their acceptance expand significantly around the world, just within the last few years. Now, sales reports during major travel holidays are reinforcing that growth, making mobile pay options a must for businesses that want to grow sales among Chinese travelers.