China has become one of the leading countries in the world in terms of technological advancements. Moreover, thanks to the rising popularity of mobile payments in the country, locals can now conveniently live without cash.
China’s mobile payment services gathered around 277.39 trillion Yuan ($41.51 trillion) in 2018, with many Chinese tourists even using mobile payment platforms like WeChat or Alipay abroad. In 2017 alone, 76% of Chinese smartphone users made mobile payments, compared to just 25% of American users. In total, 61.8% of all mobile payment transactions worldwide are Chinese.
The United States can learn a great deal from the Chinese mobile payment industry, and adopting their methods will prove to be beneficial for the nation’s economy.
So what lessons can we learn from the Far East on mobile payments?
Start with diversity
In China, WeChat and Alibaba have transformed into ultimate digital “ecosystems”—always coming into handy when managing the mundane of everyday life too. A dominant feature within these well-rounded apps is the app-within-an-app system. Not only can users chat with friends and family, they can also schedule doctor’s appointments, order food, or hail rides—all through mini-apps that are present in the main app. This deems it unnecessary for users to install or log into separate apps to perform each function.
The models in China are opposite of those in the United States. Chinese models started off as social platforms and gradually transformed into payment facilitators, whereas the ones in the United States offered financial services first, and kept the social features secondary.
Prioritize consumer preference
Chinese consumers have highly specific preferences when it comes to making payments. This oftentimes means whatever wallet meets their needs best at the time. A lot of Chinese merchants acknowledge more than one wallet as a payment method, so customers can pick which service to use based on the promotions offered by it. U.S. retailers would benefit from also accepting several wallets as methods of payment, permitting customers to make use of their favored choice at that moment.
Ease and convenience
In China, because of the excessive use of these wallets, payments can easily be made via a QR code. This is much more convenient as payment is made with a quick scan of a QR code rather than a credit or debit card. Providing convenience options to American customers can greatly assist retailers in receiving payments through mobile devices.
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