Mobile Pay’s Top 10: This Week In Numbers

Here at PYMNTS, we are geeks for numbers. And stats. And all things mobile, especially if you’re talking payments. Surely, you’ve caught on by now…

That’s why, in week nine of 2016, we’ve gathered up the top 10 figures that we dug up out of all the mobile payments news of the week. A week that includes updates from Venmo, PayPal, Tencent, Apple, MasterCard, Google, Visa, Xoom and even LG.

Not surprisingly, it’s been another crowded week for news out of the mobile payments ecosystem.

$1 Billion | The Payments Volume Processed By Venmo In January 

Venmo has set a new company record by hitting the $1 billion mark. As in $1 billion worth of payments made using Venmo during the month of January.

This record number for Venmo was more than 2.5 times the payments volume the company saw the year prior in Jan. 2015. For the full year 2015, the mobile P2P payments app processed roughly $7.5 billion, with about one-third of the transfers occurring during the holiday season (the final three months of the year). This figure was a 213 percent increase from the year prior.

903 Percent| WeChat’s YOY Percentage Digital Red Envelope Growth

China is seeing a massive shift towards digital payments, driven by mobile, with more consumers opting to send money digitally instead of stuffing cash in red envelopes.

This week, Tencent’s WeChat revealed that it saw a 903 percent YOY growth in the number of digital payments made using its mobile Red Envelope feature. This year, WeChat processed 32.1 billion red envelopes sent through its platform for the Chinese Lunar New Year by over 516 million users, according to Tencent. Over 92 percent of those senders were reportedly between the ages of 20 and 29.

Alibaba’s Alipay also saw a surge in sales of digital red envelopes, with its 400 million users buying 800 million yuan worth of red envelopes this year.

358 Million | Number Of Consumers In China Who Made Payments Via Mobile In 2015

Apple Pay is set for its China launch today (Feb. 18), and will reportedly work with 19 Chinese banks, as well with China UnionPay.

Why China really matters for Apple Pay is the fact that more than 358 million Chinese consumers made online payments using their mobile devices, according to stats provided by the China Internet Network Information Center.

That makes the fifth country for Apple Pay, with its U.S. launch in the fall of 2014 now close to a year and a half behind us. It since has expanded to the U.K., Australia and Canada (but only through American Express-issued cards for the latter two). France is reportedly next during the second half of 2016.

Can China help Apple Pay actually ignite? It still has a tough sell in the Alipay-dominated country.

70 | Number Of Android Smartphone Models Equipped To Use Vodafone NFC Payments

A new contactless payment method that brings PayPal in store is making its way to European Vodafone customers through a new partnership.

Vodafone is teaming up with PayPal to enable Vodafone Wallet users to make NFC-enabled payments at various retail locations, stores and restaurants. The partnership brings a first to PayPal users as well, providing the ability to make contactless payments for goods and services at the point of sale.

“The agreement will enable millions of PayPal customers in Europe to opt to use the Vodafone Wallet to pay for goods and services at the point of sale using their phones with a Vodafone NFC SIM, currently supported by more than 70 Android smartphone models,” PayPal said.

$50 | Price Of The Curve Card — The MasterCard Mobile App Connected Card

Yes, the biggest announcement in mobile payments this week could be a physical card.

A card that’s linked to an app, of course, which manages your financial data via that app. The Curve card, which was built on the MasterCard network, is sold for $50 (£35) in the U.K. and can be ordered online or through the mobile app.

Launched by the FinTech startup, the card combines the physical and digital payments experience. Or, as explained by Curve Founder Shachar Bialick: “Mobile payments have the potential to bring similar benefits, but cards work everywhere and people are used to them. So, we’ve created the best of both worlds — all the benefits of mobile payments via a groundbreaking card.”

Curve supports chip-and-PIN, magstripe and contactless payments technology. What this London-based startup has enabled is the ability to combine an unlimited number of bank cards into one physical payment card, which is then synced and managed via a mobile app.

The mobile app is then used to determine which cards should be used for the Curve card at any given time, which can be changed as often as needed, depending on how the user wants to pay for items.

50 Percent | Estimated Percentage Of Visa Europe Transactions Mobile Will Account For By 2020 

Visa Europe is very bullish about mobile payments. So much so that, in a story about how Visa Europe was expanding its tokenizations services, it revealed how much it believes mobile will account for transaction-wise in the next four years.

Its newly expanded tokenization services will enable customers in the financial services industry to bring tokenization to transactions where payments information is stored in the cloud, including mobile apps.

In a statement provided by Sandra Alzetta, executive director of product enablement for Visa Europe, she remarked: “By 2020, our projections are for one in five consumers to pay for items using their smartphone on a daily basis and for payments on mobile or tablet to account for more than 50 percent of Visa transactions. Looking at contactless as an early indicator, where adoption has doubled and spend has trebled in the last year, we believe this projection could well be a conservative estimate.”

7 | Number Of Countries Xoom Can Be Used In To Pay Bills Via Mobile

The Philippines makes number seven on that list, after an announcement this week from Xoom.

The PayPal company announced that Xoom customers can now pay bills (and bills of friends and family from the U.S.) using their mobile devices.

This is now possible thanks to a partnership between Xoom and PayMaya Philippines, which enables Xoom customers to pay a PLDT or Smart bill anytime, anywhere on their phone, computer or tablet. The fee to pay a bill is $2.99, and there is no cost to the bill accountholder in the Philippines.

5 | How Many Apple Pay-Compatible Phones Have Been Launched Since 2014

And next month will mark number six.

The latest reports show that Apple‘s new iPhone, the 4-inch 5se, will roll out on March 18, just three days after Apple’s event on March 15. Why does this matter for mobile payments?

Another device for consumers to use Apple Pay, of course. But will it matter? Only time will tell, particularly since Apple keeps its Apple Pay figures close to the vest.

4 | Number Of Months Since LG Pay Was First Announced (Now Delayed)

The launch of LG Pay was delayed this week, after the company announced that it won’t be unveiling LG Pay at the Mobile World Congress next week as initially anticipated.

Speaking to The Korea Times, LG said it has decided to hold off the launch of its mobile payments system beyond the big mobile commerce event but denied commenting further as to why. But a comment from a spokesperson gave some indication as to why — without giving many other details.

There was some speculation that the delay was because LG Pay hadn’t gained the necessary support from major credit card issuers, but the spokesperson also denied those claims.

1 Percent | How Much Visa’s Stake In Square Actually Is

How quickly a story can get out of hand.

That’s what happened late last week/early this week when reports swirled that Visa owned a 9.9 percent stake in mobile payments firm Square. Well, turns out those calculations were just a wee bit off. And Visa had to let everyone know how much their figures were off.

To clarify: As disclosed in a regulatory filing with the SEC, Visa owns 4,194,230 shares of Class B common stock — accounting for approximately 1 percent of Square’s fully diluted common equity as of the end of 2015.

But Visa having any bit of stock in the company was enough to please Square investors. The news of the holdings cheered investors, who sent the stock up roughly 6.8 percent in aftermarket action late last week when it was initially reported that Visa owned close to 10 percent of Square.

Well, as it turns out, the misinformation didn’t turn out so bad for Square after all. At least, temporarily.


That pretty much wraps up the week of mobile pay (and it’s only Thursday).