China mobile payment market overview 2019

The number of mobile payment users has reached a saturation point, and the growth is drawing to a close. According to an Ipsos survey, the penetration rate (i.e. ratio of users using the service within the last three months) is 95.1%. Although a relatively high growth rate as compared to the survey result of December 2018 which is the previous period, the rate’s growth is slowing down.

The total transactions of China’s 3rd-party mobile payment reached 55.4 trillion yuan in Q1 2019, with an increase of 24.7% YoY, according to data from iResearch.

Related Dossier: Payment

Data from the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology show that, by the end of February 2019, the total number of mobile internet users in China was about 1.41 billion, and the number of users using mobile phones to surf the internet was 1.27 billion.

Also considering that one person may have more than one mobile phones, it is estimated that the number of mobile payment users is about 1.01 billion, an increase of about 2.0% over the previous survey.

Among consumers aged 16-59 y-o, the scale of mobile payment users is about 810 million, accounting for 80.2% of the total. While the penetration rate remains high, the growth of mobile payment users has become increasingly saturated.

The mostly-stable user base means that mobile payment has entered the competition for wallet shares in the existing market. Therefore, actively integrating internet finance technology and promoting “overseas payment” will become the growth path for all payment brands in the sector.

The overall transaction volume of mobile payment continues to grow, accounting for nearly half of the daily consumption payment. The annual transaction volume of third-party mobile payments reached 183.79 trillion Yuan, an increase of about 20.3% over the previous period. The annual number of transactions reached 1.17 trillion, an increase of about 12.8%.

The growth rate of mobile payment transaction volume seems to have slowed down (the annual transaction volume in the previous survey increased by about 25.7% and the annual number of transactions increased by about 25.5%).

Allocated to a single transaction, the average amount of the transactions is about 157 Yuan, while the average number of payment made by one person is 4 per day, still featuring small amount and high frequency.

In terms of daily expenses, the proportion of third-party payment accounts for 58%, of which mobile payment accounts for 47% and cash payment accounts for 19%. Mobile payment has been firmly established as the largest payment tool for daily consumption.

China’s top mobile payment apps compared: Alipay, Tenpay, Unionpay