Chinese mobile payments 50 times larger than US

Chinese consumers made mobile payments worth $5.5 trillion in 2016, compared to the US’s $112 billion market, a new study has found.

Based on a survey of 6,595 people and data from WeChat Pay in 324 Chinese cities, the 2017 Mobile Payment Usage in China report found that 84% of respondents said they could accept an entirely cashless life.

That scenario may not be that far from becoming a reality – 52% of respondents said cash accounted for no more than 20% of their monthly consumption.

Nearly three quarters of people said they get by with only 100 RMB ($15) in cash a month, according to the study by Tencent Research Institute, Renmin University of China and Ipsos.

Tencent, a provider of value-added Internet services in China, had more than 600 million active mobile payment accounts by the end of 2016, generating 600 million transactions daily.

Nearly all dining establishments in China now accept mobile payments, while cinemas have the highest mobile payment penetration within the entertainment sector, the report found.