Why Mobile Payments Are More Popular in China than the U.S.

January 9, 2018, Written By Natalie Rutledge

Research from Business Insider found that Chinese shoppers use mobile payments 11 times more than people in the United States. Why are mobile payments so much more popular in China?

Much like the United Kingdom, mobile payments, such as Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, and Android Pay, are accepted everywhere. In the United States, many retailers do not yet offer this payment option. When I was in Kroger last week, I asked the cashier if I could use Apple Pay, and received a blank stare in response. To avoid embarrassment and slowing down the line, many Americans are just pulling out their trusted credit or debit card.

Additionally, mobile wallets in China, such as WeChat, offer a number of useful features beyond the ability to pay for goods and services. Some of these WeChat features include:

  • Digital Tip Jar, which allows users to send micropayments to artists, writers, and musicians.
  • The ability to easily split bills with your friends and family at restaurants.
  • Better integration with other apps. For example, users can request a ride or hire a home cleaner from WeChat, which eliminates the irritating switching between apps.

By looking at mobile payments in China, we can get a better sense of what could drive mobile wallet adoption in the U.S.—a worthwhile endeavor since mobile wallets are a more secure payment form than credit or debit cards.

Recent research from PYMNTS shows most people are happy with their current payment methods, so to get people to switch, mobile wallets will need to add value to shoppers’ lives. Making it easier to use coupons or loyalty points and better integration with other apps could encourage people to make the shift.



The information contained within this article was accurate as of January 9, 2018. For up-to-date
information on any of the terms, cards or offers mentioned above, visit the issuer's website.


About Natalie Rutledge

Natalie Rutledge majored in Communications at Mississippi State University. She was in sales for a number of businesses and spent nine years working as a communications advisor to various entities. Natalie can be contacted directly at [email protected]
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