Mobile payment platforms a hit with middle-aged Chinese
MOBILE payments are quickly gaining traction in Asia, specifically in China where cash transactions are pretty much dead. Further, outbound Chinese tourists are taking their digital payment methods wherever they go, creating more opportunities for local platforms.
Using futuristic digital methods to perform traditional functions may come naturally to the younger generation, but findings from a recent study suggest that it is the middle-aged Chinese tourist who is driving mobile payments in foreign markets.
This Lunar New Year, this particular demographic shopped abroad in more than 40 markets — and paid using a mobile wallet or a mobile payment solution.
China’s growing digital middle class
The ‘middle-aged’ cohort who is considered the main driving force in outbound tourism and foreign consumption, was split into two separate groups in the study;
- Those who were born between 1960 – 1969, and
- Those born between 1970-1979
Compared to last year, the total number of Alipay users from the first group had increased by 23o percent while there was a 190 percent growth from the second group, the study found.
Further, travelers from the third and fourth-tier cities had a higher rate of growth in overseas consumptions than tourists from the top-tier Chinese cities – Beijing, Shanghai, and Guangzhou.
“We are excited to see the robust growth in the use of Alipay by overseas travelers from third-and-fourth tier cities and middle-aged vacationers. This really highlights how mobile payment is taking root in China’s outbound tourism market,” said Alipay’s head of business operation in cross-border business, Janice Chen, in a statement.
China: Global leader in mobile payments
China, which boasts the world largest smartphone market, had an estimated 890 million people using mobile payment apps in the first half of 2018.
Alibaba backed Alipay and Tencent’s WeChat Pay have emerged as the two most dominant players in China’s massive mobile payment market.
“While providing a better experience for Chinese travelers, Alipay is at the same time a huge drawcard for overseas merchants as a platform to help grow their business,” said Chen.
These two mobile platforms have, in recent times, also ramped up their global expansion targeting merchants and businesses in Europe and Southeast Asia — regions that are frequented by Chinese tourists.