The Chinese market for mobile payment offers not only market opportunities for solution providers intending to operate within the domestic market but also learning points for global mobile payment solution providers. China is a unique case study that can showcase to the world that cashless societies are becoming increasingly possible. Already, 40% of Chinese users carry less than RMB¥100 (US$15) in cash and mobile payment has become common among Chinese citizens.

The lack of history of credit card use and wide adoption of e-Commerce has facilitated the quick expansion of mobile payments in China. Alibaba, through its dominance in e-Commerce, and Tencent, through its mobile social media and messaging platforms, WeChat and QQ, connect mass market audiences and lead the mobile payment market with their respective e-Wallet products, Alipay and WeChat Pay. They started out addressing the lack of infrastructure, and evolved by offering relevant use cases and viable business models.

The Chinese Government is a strong promoter of the IT industry. Its support in releasing licenses to 250 third-party payment providers has ensured the fast adoption of mobile payments services in the country. Easy, fast, efficient, and secure mobile payment solutions have increased the uptake of mobile payments in China. However, despite current progress, there are still underserved pockets such as the rural market.

Frost & Sullivan predicts that China will continue to be a major player in the global mobile payment services market. By 2020, China will achieve an estimated transaction value of US$60.57 trillion and 804 million users, which is 57% of the population due to increase in rural mobile payment users and increase in acceptance points locally and internationally.

Footnote: The companies mentioned in this study include but are not limited to 1 wallet, Alibaba Sesame Credits, Alipay, Baidu wallet, Baihang Credit Scoring, Inspiry Technology, Meituan wallet, Tencent Credit, UMF, Union Pay, WeChat, Xiaomi wallet, and Yiqianbao.

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