Mobile Payments in China Surge to $5.5 Trillion
The PBOC may not like the idea of a cashless China, but nevertheless, mobile payments in the Middle Kingdom are ripping higher.
Chinese consumers spent US$5.5 trillion via mobile payment platforms last year, about 50 times more than their American counterparts. By the end of 2016, Tencent alone saw both its active mobile payment accounts and average daily payment transactions exceed 600 million, according to a new report released by Tencent Research Institute, The Chongyang Institute for Financial Studies at Renmin University of China, and research firm Ipsos.
Surveying nearly 6,600 respondents, the report also found that not only do 52% of Chinese use cash for 20% or less of their monthly consumption, it also discovered that nearly 85% of them could accept a totally cashless lifestyle.
How can they do that? Easy, really. In China, 74% of fast-food transactions are done via mobile payments. Convenience stores? That’ll be 68%. How about supermarkets and shopping malls? Roughly 62% of all their deals are cashless – hell, even street food stands accept mobile payments.
As cool as that sounds though, the PBOC isn’t particularly happy about all this. China Money Network reports that the Chinese central bank has basically launched an attack against the “cashless” regime. It recently required Ant Financial to remove the term “cashless” from all of its promotional material, and it asked its partnering merchants “to respect consumers’ freedom in choosing their payment methods.” It also prohibited merchants from refusing cash payment – apparently, that was starting to become an issue over in the mainland.