While electronic payments have begun in earnest decades ago, recent years have seen a massive upswing in mobile payments given the penetration of smartphones and their improved technical capabilities. Since people become increasingly open to adopting mobile payments into their everyday life, the parade toward a cashless society looks downright unstoppable.
The global mobile payment revenue in 2015 has reached US$450 billion and is expected to exceed US$1 trillion in 2019. The speed of transition in China, as is the case with many other digital services, has outpaced the rest of the world. Statistics from the Payment and Clearing Association of China showed that the number of transactions made through non-banking mobile apps increased from 3.777 billion in 2013 to more than 97 billion in 2016, representing a compound annual growth rate of over 195%. Besides the abundant possibilities to shop on mobile devices or mobile apps, many physical stores also allow mobile payments nowadays by using NFC (near-field communication) technologies to scan mobile wallets. Notwithstanding setbacks such as questionable security, huge capital investment and technology immaturity, the industry is inherently popular with characteristics such as the nigh-impossibility of counterfeiting and its being decentralised.
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