China's Millennials Driving Mobile Payments Market

China Millennials Push Mobile Payments

Mobile device users ages 21–29 and 30–39 are leading the charge in the country’s mobile payments adoption.

Millennials in China make the vast majority of the mobile payments taking place, eMarketer reported on Thursday (June 16).

Data from Ipsos found that these young adults living in tier 1 and 2 cities in China use their mobile devices to pay for bills, conduct transactions and participate in online-to-offline commerce and other payment-related activities.

Of those conducting mobile payments, the research shows that about 60 percent said they use Alipay to pay bills, but just 17 percent said the same for WeChat’s payment service. But when it comes to P2P transfers, users tend to opt for WeChat over using Alipay.

For many of those surveyed, roughly 35 percent, mobile shopping became a gateway to using other mobile payment services.

In eMarketer‘s first-ever projection of proximity mobile payment traffic among Chinese consumers, released earlier this month, the number of people who used the technology to complete a transaction is expected to grow 45.8 percent annually to reach 195.3 million users in 2016. In comparison, the U.S. can claim only about 37.5 million of the same transactions this year.

The cause of China’s rapid adoption of mobile payments is multi-factored, but the absence of a strong attachment to credit cards before the advent of digital wallets most certainly played a part. Merchants like Alibaba and have also thrown their weight behind advancing acceptance of mobile payments, and friends in high places like that can never hurt a new technology’s attempts to establish itself in consumer habits.

Moreover, eMarketer forecasting analyst Shelleen Shum explained that the almost 200 million Chinese consumers paying with their smartphones represent just a small fraction of the country’s overall potential as a driver for the payment method.



The How We Shop Report, a PYMNTS collaboration with PayPal, aims to understand how consumers of all ages and incomes are shifting to shopping and paying online in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Our research builds on a series of studies conducted since March, surveying more than 16,000 consumers on how their shopping habits and payments preferences are changing as the crisis continues. This report focuses on our latest survey of 2,163 respondents and examines how their increased appetite for online commerce and digital touchless methods, such as QR codes, contactless cards and digital wallets, is poised to shape the post-pandemic economy.

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