Industry News

M-payments in the developing world: China is on the rise

Mobile banking and m-payments are extremely successful in developing countries of Africa and Asia. Now we are seeing tremendous growth coming from China.

Online payment transactions handled by Chinese mobile payment service providers will exceed 9 trillion yuan (1.45 trillion U.S. dollars) in 2015, according to an industry report published in July.

In 2012, the country’s mobile banking sector handled 800 billion yuan in online payment transactions, an increase of 265.3 percent from a year earlier, according to a report published by the Internet Society of China (ISC). Last year, the country’s online payments rose 66 percent to nearly 3.7 trillion yuan, with fast growth in payments on premiums, according to the report.

Asian Business woman using a smartphone and looking out window

Developing countries: m-payments are especially popular

70% of the world’s population owns a mobile phone, while only a half of households (fewer in developing countries) have access to a bank account. There’s no question that mobile money services are especially popular and useful in developing countries. Consumers in Bangladesh, Ghana, India, Indonesia, Nigeria and Pakistan are already highly aware of mobile money services including the ability to make payments or send funds simply by accessing an account on their mobile phone.

Consumers’ needs for financial services in developing countries are sophisticated and citizens of the developing countries can choose from various mobile money services. Additionally, security concerns associated with carrying cash and the need to quickly send money to family members living far away are among the key drivers for mobile money adoption.

Surveys has shown that the majority of consumers use mobile money to send money to family members, pay utility bills and save money for their family. The primary driver and reason to adopt mobile financial services is not to establish formal savings, but rather the need to protect funds from theft and the ability to more easily send funds, pay bills, school fees, etc.