China’s Great Leap Forward in Global Mobile Payments
By Catherine Leung
During a recent cab ride on business in China, my driver relayed to me that his riders almost never pay him in cash, and when they do — because it is so rare — he becomes quite suspicious, fearful that they may be paying him with counterfeit bills. Indeed, most people in China don’t carry a wallet at all. There’s no need to tote around cash or credit cards because the vast majority of people in the country pay via apps on their phone, for everything from cabs to food orders to doctor bills, and far beyond.
One could even say that payment methods in China are years ahead of most other countries, East and West. It’s the closest thing to a “cashless society” on the planet. China’s roughly 1.4 billion people comprise just under 20 percent of the world’s population, but the country will account for the majority of the proximity mobile payment user base globally this year, according to data from eMarketer.
Photo courtesy of Ly Chen.