Approximately 65% of all online payments made in China are now done so on mobile devices, according to a study from Alipay, the mobile payments division of eCommerce giant Alibaba.
The figure is up from 49% last year, which has lead a number of industry experts to speculate that smartphones will likely outgrow the use of cash and other payment methods within a few years.
There are over 100 million users of Alipay in China, these users span across 124 cities in 19 provinces, according to a statement from the company. These users opt to use Alipay for 40 types of public service, along with over 4,000 business applications that are now available through the company’s platform.
Alipay, which has long been China’s leading third-party payment service provider, said that in addition to its traditional use for online payments and shopping, users are now using Alipay to inquire about provident fund balances, social security payments, marriage registrations and to renew exit-entry permits for Macao and Hong Kong.
Alipay extended their business to include public services last April, with local governments, utilising this service to collect public opinion and suggestions, in addition to payments for public services and tax, something which has helped the firm to grow its market share even further.
The company also found that provident fund queries were among the most popular of Alipay services in Beijing. In Shanghai, marriage registration was one of the most popular services, and in Zhengzhou, over a million people had made social security payment inquiries. The uptake of the solution is promising for Alipay, considering it launched just over 2 months ago.
Li Chao, an analyst at iResearch Consulting, said in an interview in the China Daily that “Alipay is penetrating every aspect of people’s daily life, and we expect to see it being used to access even more government and social public services in future, which will help grow its market share.”