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China’s mobile payment market explodes

Shi Jing
Updated: Jul 7,2016 8:50 AM     China Daily

The mobile payments market in China is expanding so rapidly that global leaders are drawing up exclusive strategies to meet the growing local demand.

According to Paul Jung, head of products and digital solutions of Visa Northeast Asia, China is now leading the way in mobile wallets.

So, during the three-day 2016 Mobile World Congress that ended on July 1 in Shanghai, Visa Inc, the global card payment services provider, announced its mobile payment services will combine internet of things and biometrics.

Visa is also using near-field-communication or NFC solutions on wearables such as rings, smart watches and wristbands. It has introduced a biometrics payment technology based on the reading of palm print and fingerprint.

Besides, in March last year, it launched Visa Checkout, a service with six commercial banks in the country. The service removes the need for sharing card details with retailers.

It was introduced in China in response to the rapidly expanding cross-border e-commerce. So far, 10 banks, including China Merchants Bank, Shanghai Pudong Development Bank and China Everbright Bank, have rolled out this service.

“We will continue to promote Visa Checkout in China this year, for this is a key part of our new e-commerce strategy here,” said Shirley Yu, general manager of Visa China.

Meanwhile, Visa’s contactless payment technology payWave is gaining wider acceptance among Chinese cardholders ever since it was rolled out in the country two years ago.

So far, the service has been the most prevalent one in the Pearl River Delta region. For, Guangzhou province is one of the most popular inbound tourism markets in China, receiving a large number of tourists from neighboring Hong Kong.

More than 5,000 payment terminals in the region are now connected to the payWave service.

“China is now one of biggest and most active markets for Visa. The country has so many innovations now that it is no longer a follower. Our team in China now has to report the local demand to our global headquarters so that our products can meet the Chinese customers’ demand first,” said Yu.

According to global market consulting firm eMarketer, China will have more than 195.3 million users of mobile payment solutions by the end of this year.