Asia Pacific is leading the world in mobile payments with over half (53%) of connected consumers using their mobiles to pay for goods or services at points of sale via apps, in comparison to 33% in North America and 35% in Europe.
According to Kantar TNS' latest study "connected life", China is the number one mobile payment market globally, with 40% of connected consumers paying by mobile on a weekly basis, and 77% having used mobile payment in the past.
Hong Kong is not far behind, with almost one in three (32%) using it every week, followed by South Korea at 31%. Mobile payments allow users to transfer money at point of sale in a physical shop, pay for items whilst shopping online, or even transfer money to friends remotely.
This number rises among younger Chinese aged 16-35, where half (50%) use mobile payment weekly, but is highest (52%) among younger adult consumers in the 25-34 age group. Nearly 60% of 45-65-year-olds have tried the technology in past, and 22% of them are engaged weekly.
Many mobile-first markets such as India, Malaysia and Indonesia are also taking up the behaviour. This is in part due to the lack of legacy banking structures in many of these countries, as 73% of people in South East Asia do not have a bank account.
The study said, in recent years, popular chat apps such as WeChat and LINE have developed numerous payment services such as WeChat Pay, Line Pay, Alipay and O! ePay, facilitating everything from taxi bookings to e-commerce sales. Mobile payment options within these apps allow consumers to complete their purchase journey seamlessly, and have helped to establish these behaviours.
“As mobile payments become the norm across Asia Pacific, traditional financial services companies need to find ways to embed their services within the ecosystem of the Asian consumer, or run the risk of becoming obsolete.” said Aurelia Leopold, director of finance and banking at Kantar TNS.