(Yicai Global) Feb. 15 -- The scale of mobile payments in China last year was nearly 50 times that of the US, the latest public market data shows. China's lack of a credit card culture has aided a leap from cash to mobile payment, empowering Chinese internet firms in the market, which is considered a gateway into fintech.
The value of mobile payments in the US increased 39 percent last year to USD112 billion, the global research institute Forrester Research Inc. said. Third-party mobile payments more than doubled last year to reach CNY38 trillion (USD5.5 trillion), Chinese firm iResearch Consulting Group estimated.
The penetration of credit cards in China is lower than in developed countries, while online debit card payments are used more frequently, the Financial Times reported, citing market data. The convenience of Alipay and WeChat, which allow users to pay by scanning a QR code, have contributed to the rapid spread of mobile payment in China.
Forrester forecasts the total amount of mobile payments in the US in 2019 will be 2.6 times 2015's. China's payments will balloon more than seven-fold in the same timeframe, iResearch estimates.