195 million Chinese smartphone users will make mobile payments this year

Chinese people have skipped the credit card phase, jumping into mobile payments, according to research from eMarketer.

The research published today (7 June) found that in 2016 the number of people using proximity mobile payments will have doubled to now be more than a third of all smartphone users. It’s the first time the research company has looked at mobile payments in China, estimating that there will be 195.3 million people using the technology in 2016, a growth of 45.8 per cent over the previous year.

The proportion of people using the technology will reach 50 per cent by 2020, an acceleration that has come as a result of China leapfrogging from cash payments to mobile, skipping the credit card stage in between. eMarketer said businesses such as Alipay and Tenpay are driving the adoption.

eMarketer forecasting analyst ShelleenShum said: “Despite having a higher penetration rate than the US, China’s proximity mobile payments market still remains largely untapped, with usage mostly concentrated in larger cities. Like in the US, the challenge is to get retailers to upgrade their systems to accept mobile payment methods at the point of sale. The phenomenal opportunity for retailers is that smartphone users in China are more willing to store payment information in their phones and are more willing to experiment with other forms of noncash payments than users in most developed countries.”

The research also looked into e-commerce and mobile and revealed that 72 per cent will have bought something via their phone in 2016.

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