More than half of all payments in China are made via mobile phones. Thanks to facial recognition systems in restaurants and shops, it is now also possible to pay with a smile. This revolution is realized with just two names: Alipay and WeChat Pay, owned by two Chinese tech giants, Alibaba and Tencent. A Chinese revolution that could soon become a European one. Read more.
Mobile payments the Chinese way: a model for the rest of the world?
In 2016, more than USD 3 trillion worth of mobile transactions were made in China. For more information visit here. Mainly through two mobile payment methods: Alipay and WeChat Pay. These two companies alone handle 91% of mobile payments in China. It is no longer unusual for young Chinese to live in big cities without a laptop. This phenomenon is so pronounced that even beggars no longer ask for money, but simply come with a QR code and beg.
Tencent's giant app, connected to 69% of China's population and used by 570 million people every day, is already competing with the most famous Western social networks. Alipay, with its 450 million users, is not to be outdone. The system developed by Jack Ma's Alibaba Group is already one step ahead of its international competitor WeChat: airports and shops are already equipped for this type of payment.
Mobile payment solutions are no longer limited to China
The latest business move by these two major players in the field of electronic payments is the launch of point-of-sale and e-payment solutions in the US by start-up Citcon. The Silicon Valley company now allows US merchants to accept any payment via WeChat or Alipay.
Specifically, this means that a Chinese tourist traveling to New York will soon be able to pay for a plane ticket or groceries directly with his phone and receive payment in China, while the merchant is credited a dollar directly in the US.
Apart from the obvious advantages of not having to carry cash (and thus not being a prime target for pickpockets) or having to pay high bank fees, the main advantage of the Citcon system is that it allows merchants who use it to accept larger payments. On Fifth Avenue, some stores selling jewelry worth more than $100,000 had difficulty making such sales due to banking restrictions between China and the US.