GlobalData: Mobile wallets dominate China payment landscape

Wednesday 22 May 2024 12:45 CET | News

GlobalData’s 2023 Financial Services Consumer Survey has revealed that China's digital infrastructure drives mobile wallet adoption, with Alipay and WeChat Pay dominating.


Mobile wallets have become the prominent payment method in China, with over 84% of users utilising them for transactions in 2023. This surge is driven by widespread smartphone and internet accessibility, QR code-based payment adoption, and the popularity of domestic brands like Alipay and WeChat Pay, according to GlobalData.

GlobalData's 2023 Financial Services Consumer Survey has revealed that China's digital infrastructure drives mobile wallet adoption, with Alipay and WeChat Pay dominating.


GlobalData 2023 Financial Services Consumer Survey

GlobalData’s 2023 Financial Services Consumer Survey reveals that China is among the top countries globally in terms of mobile wallet adoption, with 84.4% survey respondents indicating that they had a mobile wallet and used in a shop in the past 12 months.

Asian markets are spearheading the adoption of mobile wallets, with eight among the top 10 markets with high mobile wallet adoption being from this the region.

Officials from GlobalData said the availability of low-cost smartphones and high-speed internet provided the necessary digital infrastructure for the growth of mobile wallets. This was also supported by the increasing adoption of QR code-based payments among merchants from street vendors to retail chains. The consumer preference for domestic mobile wallet brands including Alipay and WeChat Pay is also significantly contributing to this growth.

China is home to one of the most mature mobile wallet markets in the world. Mobile wallets are widely used for day-to-day transactions at supermarkets, street stalls, and on public transport, as well as for online payments.

Alipay and WeChat Pay dominate

Alipay and WeChat Pay, with more than one billion users each globally, dominate the mobile payment market in China. WeChat Pay’s widespread adoption can be attributed to its integration into the popular instant messaging and social media platform WeChat. International brands such as Apple Pay and Samsung Pay are also making their presence felt in the market, though their mass adoption is still a distant reality.

Alipay and WeChat Pay also allow overseas travellers to link their international cards such as Visa and Mastercard with wallets and make payments at merchants across China.

Government digital currencies to fuel further growth

The growth in the market is also supported by the government’s push for the adoption and usage of e-CNY, the country’s central bank digital currency. The central bank is working on a unified QR code for its digital currency e-CNY, which is expected to further drive interoperability and growth of mobile wallets. This technology will allow the usage of e-CNY payments through a single QR code across various digital payment apps such as Alipay and WeChat Pay, streamlining the payment process for both consumers and merchants.

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Keywords: mobile payments, payments infrastructure, QR code, digital wallet, survey
Categories: Payments & Commerce
Companies: Alipay, GlobalData, WeChat
Countries: China
This article is part of category

Payments & Commerce






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