China poised for mobile payments boom

The use of mobile payments is set to explode in China, according to a new analyst report.

Celent, a financial services technology analyst company, predicts that the number of mobile payments users will grow by 48% annually until reaching 410 million by 2013, making it the world’s largest mobile payments market.

The company draws a distinction between two kinds of mobile payment: remote payments using mobile phones, and contactless payment systems where customers use a card or phone to make a payment in a shop.  Both of these are growing in popularity, Celent said.

The growing adoption reflects successful partnerships between Chinese banks and telecommunications operators, it explained. “Mobile operators and third party payment companies are … strengthening their cooperation with the banking industry for increased success,” said analyst Hua Zhang.

Earlier this month, online payments provider PayPal said that one million people in the UK had used its mobile service.

The same week, Barclaycard said that one million transactions have taken place using its contactless payment technology since it was launched in the UK in 2007. There has been a 217% increase in contactless payments on a monthly basis since January 2010, it said.

Pete Swabey

Pete Swabey

Pete was Editor of Information Age and head of technology research for Vitesse Media plc from 2005 to 2013, before moving on to be Senior Editor and then Editorial Director at The Economist Intelligence...

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