Text/Bluchaga · Technology Value
According to foreign media reports Businessinsider, mobile payments have become very common in China. Even if you use cash to buy things now, it is considered to be very ridiculous and rare. Whether it is to go to the grocery market to buy food, or take a taxi under the line, or even to reward street singers, they use the scanned QR code for mobile payment.
There is a clear gap in mobile payments: China is 143 times that of the United States.
The mobile payment market is affected by two applications —— WeChat Payment and Alipay. These two mobile phone payments accounted for almost the entire mobile payment market in China. Alipay has hundreds of millions of monthly live users. In contrast, Apple’s global user base payment is only 127 million. Even the number of Alipay users in China is less than .
According to foreign media analysis, in China, mobile payment has become popular due in part to the fact that credit cards have never been truly popularized in the world. This has given mobile payments an opportunity to quickly establish infrastructure. In addition, scanning a QR code on a cell phone means that anyone can become a merchant because you no longer need hardware like a card or chip reader.
In China, paying with mobile phones is nothing new. On the contrary, paying with cash is an anecdote.
In the past 15 years, mobile payment has developed into a $16 trillion market in China, led by Tencent and Alibaba, China's two largest technology giants. According to data from iResearch, total mobile payments in 2016 reached 9 trillion US dollars. At the same time, according to Forrester Research estimates, mobile payments in the United States reached $112 billion in 2016. In other words, the mobile payment market value is 143 times that of the United States. This does not seem to be a true disparity between the two sides, but there is indeed a huge gap between China and the United States in the popularity of mobile payments.
Tencent and Alibaba are a pair of competitors in mobile payment applications. Their respective fist products, WeChat Payment and Alipay, are used by almost everyone in China, from high-end restaurants and high-end designer boutiques to street vendors, taxi drivers, and even embarrassment.
Even street singers are using mobile QR codes to collect money
The payment method has become a part of daily life, which makes BI reporters feel shocked. The reporter stated that he felt the power of his recent visit to Xi’an. Xi'an is a city with a population of 13 million in northwest China. At the door of the city’s ancient wall, I happened to see a group of Chinese students gathered and listen to several musicians singing on a Saturday night.
This is not uncommon in New York City. In almost every subway station, a musician is playing music with his or her guitar case, with some dollar bills on it. But in Xi’an, musicians did not open the guitar case. Instead of a two-dimensional code.
At first, the reporter stated that he wanted to know how street musicians received tips. But every time I sang two songs, one of their friends raised two cards printed with QR codes; one was Alipay and the other was WeChat. Dozens of onlookers lifted their mobile phones. After a few seconds, they scanned the QR code and sent a few yuan to the performers.
This is a genius. The reporter praised him sincerely.
Don't look around for change, for example, when you find that you only have a $20 bill and you only want to give 5 dollars. Don't try to get in front of the crowd so that you can store a few coins in the guitar case. Only need to scan the two-dimensional code, and it is far to pick up the mobile phone to pay.
In China's big cities, mobile payment is the preferred method of payment
It is very easy for me to think of the anecdotes I see. I think it is the way that a new generation of people who are especially tech-savvy likes. But this is not the case. The use of these mobile payments is a habit that almost everyone is used to, not just young people.
The number of Weixin monthly active users is as high as 900 million (According to Tencent's official claim that it has exceeded 1 billion), and Alibaba’s Alipay has more than 500 million monthly active users. Almost all of these users are Chinese users.
In contrast, Apple Pay has 127 million users worldwide, and it is pre-installed on every iPhone. Even so, Apple still has no way to compare with Tencent and Ali’s mobile payment.
The next day, while walking on the Muslim Quarter Street Market in Xi'an, the reporter noticed that all food suppliers had provided Alipay and WeChat two-dimensional codes for tourists. I was the only one who paid in cash, and the BI reporter was embarrassed.
A few weeks later, the reporter saw the same scene on the roadside stalls in Shenzhen and Beijing. A coffee shop in Beijing does not even have a cash register. There is only one scanner. The reporter said arrogantly that he had to leave and go to another cafe because he didn’t pay Alipay or WeChat and it seemed impossible to move in. These places were all accepted by mobile payment.
Scanning QR codes on mobile phones means that anyone can become a business. No one needs hardware like a card or chip reader. All you need is an account and your personal QR code. Print it on a piece of paper, and anyone passing by can pay you. Or just glance at the QR code of the person who wants to pay you.
According to a 2017 study by the Penguin Think Tank, 92% of people in China’s first-tier cities stated that they use WeChat Payment or Alipay as their primary payment method. This number is still increasing, and the monthly expenses through these services are also increasing.
On the other hand, according to the "Wall Street Journal" report, in the past two years, China's spending on cash has dropped by about 10%.
Some Chinese young people said in an interview that they rarely bring wallets or cash. The smart phone is the simplest payment method. Why trouble (with a wallet)? This seems to be the general idea of people in all major cities in China. Mobile payments have become the preferred payment method for many cities in China.
WeChat Payment or Alipay Popularity: There are two root causes
Obviously, the development of mobile payment in China is very popular. This is a method that has not been implemented in the United States or Europe. Although it is easy to think that this is because China is far ahead of the technology, the fact is that it comes down to infrastructure.
The WeChat payment or Alipay is very popular. The first reason is that credit cards do not have a good foundation for development in China. Credit cards have never been popular in China. This is largely due to bad choices. The cultural attitude to debt has until recently been lack of disposable income. At the same time, China's state-owned banks are notoriously difficult to handle.
The second reason is the innovation based on local characteristics of credit and usage scenarios. When Alipay was launched in 2004 as an "escrowc" service between buyers and sellers on Taobao, Alibaba's consumer-to-consumer e-commerce platform was very popular. It provided a much needed level of security and trust. relationship. In recent years, it has developed a large user base in the development of mobile payment services. Compared with registered credit cards or the use of state-owned banks, Alipay is more humane.
At the same time, WeChat payment is a feature of WeChat. The application is used by more than 1 billion people. It has been China's most popular application for some time.
This payment feature was launched during the Lunar New Year in 2014 and is very common in China. It can give friends and family red envelopes. Tencent promoted the implementation of this plan by allowing WeChat users to present digital envelopes to a group of friends. The user who first opened the packet, in the process, registered a WeChat payment ——a larger amount.
According to the “Wall Street Journal” report, WeChat Payment received 16 million red envelopes within the first 24 hours of publication. Soon, this application became the main way for friends to transfer money or bills to each other, similar to Venmo in the United States.
Alibaba and Tencent hold big data to each other
The revenue of Alibaba and Tencent far exceeds the transaction fees charged. The widespread use of mobile payments by Chinese means that these companies are sitting in the treasure chest of consumer data.
The main applications of Tencent and Alibaba are WeChat and Alipay, which provide a variety of functions ranging from text messaging, social networking, e-commerce to taxi, bike sharing, and travel bookings. Consumer data from payments is used to create detailed information for each user, and then these users can use them directly in their applications, and even Facebook and Google will be drooling.
For example, the baby formula you bought from the convenience store tells Alipay that you can start sending advertisements and promotions to other baby products on Taobao.
In addition, Tencent and Alibaba have credit scores, which are Tencent Credit and Sesame Credit. The scores of the two companies have very high factors. Both companies have begun to introduce other financial products, such as loans and money market funds.
According to the data of iResearch, according to market share, WeChat payment accounts for 40% of the total, which is much higher than 54% of Alipay. But who will dominate the mobile payments industry has just begun to heat up. In the future, WeChat and Alipay will rely on their respective big data advantages and will continue to fight.