More than two-thirds of proximity mobile payment users reside in China and India. In fact, when excluding those countries, the percentage of smartphone users worldwide using payment apps falls from 36.0% to 16.6%. Across most markets, the mobile payment landscape is fragmented with a number of competing services. Players like Apple, Google and Samsung have struggled to gain widespread acceptance from consumers and retailers.
We define proximity mobile payment users as mobile phone users ages 14 and older who have made at least one proximity mobile payment transaction in the past six months; includes point-of-sale transactions made by using mobile devices as a payment method; excludes transactions made via tablet.
The success of proximity mobile payment adoption in China is due to the country’s mobile-first culture, as well as a booming middle class opening bank accounts at high rates. These newly banked individuals are choosing to open mobile payment accounts as opposed to signing up for traditional credit cards. These types of services are the primary in-store payment alternative to cash and credit cards. In 2019, nearly half of China’s population is expected to use mobile payments.
Editor's Note: We have amended our calculation for the percentage of smartphone users worldwide using payment apps excluding India and China, which was written as 9.4%. However, that calculation was based on figures for all users, not from the base of users 14+, which should have been used. The correct percentage of smartphone users worldwide using payment apps excluding China and India is 16.6%. We regret the error.