While PayPal and other payment methods are still struggling to gain acceptance as ways to pay in U.S. stores, Chinese consumers have quickly adopted online payment solutions as major method to pay in offline stores and restaurants.
Three in every five Chinese consumers are using mobile wallets
China is the world’s largest single mobile market, and here comes more facts: The most recent survey shows that 62.7% of Chinese consumers have used two of China’s most popular online payment methods, Alipay and WeChat Pay, to pay with their mobile phones in bricks-and-mortar locations. Quite the opposite, only 1% of U.S. consumers prefer to pay with PayPal, the online payment method that can be used to pay in some stores via a mobile phone, in department stores or discount retail locations.
The study also tells that 89.3% of Chinese consumers prefer to use Alipay or WeChat Pay for smaller transactions that average around 200 yuan ($31), while 68.2% prefer credit cards when making larger payments, those of 1000 yuan ($154) and above.
71.8% of respondents say mobile payments are faster than using cards or cash in stores. Other reasons for using those payment system include discount coupons offered through Alipay and WeChat Pay and the convenience of not having to carry cards and cash.
Don’t forget about credit card
While online payment methods have been widely accepted in a short period of time in China, credit cards, which most Chinese consumers have only had access to in recent years, are also heading to a right direction. Those include not only cards from domestic banks, but also international brands such as Visa and MasterCard.
Banks in China have issued about 5 billion banking cards, including 500 million credit cards, according to the China Banking Association. The association also says about 5% of bank cards in China carry the brands of international card networks like Visa and MasterCard. Chinese consumers can use those international cards to shop on eCommerce sites around the world that carry those brands.
Visa Inc. has reported that Chinese consumers purchased more than $2 billion in products outside of China with Visa cards in 2014. However, the growth rate of Chinese purchases on Visa cards dropped below 10% in the fourth quarter of 2015 as China’s economic growth slowed and the strong dollar made many foreign goods more expensive.
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