Chinese Consumers Favor Biometric Payments On Singles’ Day

Consumers Pay With Biometrics on Singles' Day

Alibaba’s Singles’ Day shopping event on Nov. 11 was a huge success; with $30.8 billion in transactions, it surpassed Cyber Monday and Black Friday combined.

According to a report, Singles’ Day also shone a light on the preference of consumers in China to use biometrics to pay for things. Citing Alipay, the payment affiliate of Alibaba, the report noted that 60.3 percent of customers paid by fingerprint or by taking a selfie during Singles’ Day.

Alipay’s digital wallet handles online and offline transactions for 870 million users around the world. WeChat Pay, the rival digital payment service in China operated by Tencent, has around 800 million users. Both are in a battle to make payments seamless by using biometrics.

In 2016, 95 percent of people surveyed by China’s Payment and Clearing Association were aware of fingerprint recognition to make payments. In that same year, the report noted, slightly more than 70 percent of users were okay with paying with biometrics; that increased to 85 percent in 2017.

In addition to the 24-hour shopping event setting records based on sales and biometrics, Apple was also able to break a record, emerging as the top-selling mobile phone vendor during Singles’ Day. According to news from CNBC, citing Alibaba, Apple topped the list in the mobile phone category — one retailer among 237 others that surpassed $14.36 million in sales during the event. Alibaba provides a list of the categories that have the highest gross merchandise value or sales, but doesn’t provide specific figures on units sold.

The annual event brought in gross merchandise value of $30.8 billion as shoppers clamored to get steep discounts on all sorts of products. This year marked the 10th annual Singles Day event, which is also called the Double 11 shopping festival because it falls on Nov. 11. The Chinese eCommerce retailer had been billing this year’s occasion as “the largest ever in terms of scale and reach.”


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