China outpaces US in mobile wallet adoption
In study of five major mobile economies, m-payments adoption in China runs five times ahead of the others
Published: 9 May, 2012
While many headlines about mobile payments center on the US and Europe, the real growth has been centered on emerging economies so far. China's adoption rates already outpace those of four big mobile economies - Spain, Germany, the US and Argentina - combined, by more than five to one, according to a new study commissioned by Assurant Solutions.
The study found that over half (52.14%) of Chinese respondents are mobile wallet users compared to a combined total of 12% within the other four countries surveyed. The analysts define a mobile wallet user as someone regularly carrying out three or more m-wallet transactions such as online banking, bill payment, online purchases, NFC-based in-store purchases, or peer-to-peer transactions.
Assurant Solutions, a risk management company which aims to push insurance policies for mobile commerce, saw Chinese adoption rates of all five mobile transaction types as being far higher than in the other surveyed countries, most of which are seen as m-commerce hotbeds. However, the US also trails in usage of some more basic mobile functions such as texting, browsing and social media.
In m-commerce, the widest variance in adoption rates between countries is seen in peer-to-peer transactions, with a high of 40% in China and a low of 14% in Germany; and buying subscriptions for online newspapers and magazines (50% in China down to 15% in Argentina).
"While consumers generally remain wary about opening their mobile wallet, there are some real variations across the globe," commented Nino Treusch, head of mobile business development for Europe at Assurant.