China has just topped its own record in mobile payment growth – the country’s customers made 60.5 billion mobile payment transactions in 2018, a 61.2% annual growth of the number of mobile transactions, according to a People’s Bank of China report.
The country’s total mobile payment transaction volume for 2018 stands at RMB 277.4 trillion (US$41.3 trillion), up 36.7% from the previous year. The number of ATM units drops from 1.13 million in 2018 Q3 to 1.11 million.
Fang Xingdong, director of the Research Center for Internet and Society at the Communication University of Zhejiang, attributed the rapid growth to people moving away from traditional payment methods and the growth of e-commerce.
“There are more and more economic activities that can be carried out via mobile payment, and people are less likely to use cash or credit cards than before,” Fang told KrASIA.
“We will continue to see fast growth in mobile payments in the next few years,” he said, adding that many public services can also be paid via mobile payment now.
But the rapid growth of these types of payments have also brought about potential security risks – transactional information can reveal many aspects of a user’s life and habits.
“Who can get a hold of these data sets and how they are used… we lack basic data management regulations and rules for this particular aspect,” Fang said. “This is something we should really pay attention to.”
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Editor: Nadine Freischlad