SHANGHAI – Mobile payments in China jumped 28.8 percent year-on-year in 2017, according to data published on Monday by the People’s Bank of China.
Banks in the country processed payments worth 203 trillion yuan ($32 trillion) and the data indicated a growing popularity of transactions made through mobile phone apps such as Alipay, Wechat or Apple Pay.
The number of mobile transactions grew even more sharply in 2017 with 37.6 billion payments that marked a 46.1 percent growth year-on-year.
In the same period, bank card transactions grew by just 2.7 percent even though the number of bank cards in use jumped by 9.3 percent.
Last November, Ant Financial, which owns Alipay – one of the most popular payment apps in China –, reported that more than 500 million people, or one-third of the population, were using their phones to make payments.
According to a report jointly produced by Tencent – which owns the WeChat messaging and online payment platform –, Renmin University of China and French market research company Ipsos, 84 percent of Chinese people said they were comfortable leaving home with only their mobile phones and no cash.