Warc Blog

Mobile payments grow sevenfold

7 August 2014
BEIJING: Payments made on mobile devices in China increased 707% year-on-year in 2013 while the number of Chinese mobile payment users grew 126% over the same period to 125m people, new official statistics have revealed.

These were the headline findings in the 2014 China Internet Financial Development Report, a joint publication by the Internet Society of China (ISC) and Xinhua news agency's Finance World magazine.

In addition to recording such a high rate of growth, the report found Chinese mobile consumers made over 1.6bn financial transactions worth US$1.6 trillion last year, Payment Week reported.

However, Shi Xiansheng, deputy secretary-general of the ISC, warned of the potential security risks associated with online payments and called for safety standards to be improved to prevent identify fraud and other problems.

And it comes amid signs that government officials and regulators are seeking to impose restrictions on China's growing mobile payments industry.

The People's Bank of China, the country's central bank, has already announced that it plans to introduce a cap on the amount of money that users can transact via their mobiles.

It is also thought to be considering similar restrictions on mobile financial products, such as Yu'e Bao, an online investment fund available on smartphones that is owned by e-commerce giant Alibaba.

Chinese authorities have also banned the use of QR codes and virtual credit cards for online shopping, although they insisted this was only done to protect consumers.

In a new report examining the "digital revolution" currently underway in China, the McKinsey Global Institute says that up until now it has largely been consumer-driven, and Chinese businesses are only just beginning to open up to its potential.

McKinsey projects that new internet applications could fuel some 7% to 22% of China's incremental GDP growth through to 2025, depending on the rate of adoption.

That would be the equivalent of Rmb4 trillion to Rmb14 trillion in annual GDP in 2025, the report said.

Data sourced from Payment Week, McKinsey; additional content by Warc

 
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