Despite a barrage of hype and the best efforts of the banks, card schemes etc, mobile payments are miles away from mainstream success. According to the annual Connected Life study by Kantar TNS, involving 70,000 people in 56 countries, only a minority of internet users in the likes of the US, the UK, Canada, France and Germany preferred the use of mobile payments to other methods. China and Mongolia were the only two countries in which a majority of respondents said they favoured this way of paying for items.
39% of total respondents gave the thumbs up to the use of mobile payments. That rose to 45% in emerging markets, compared with a 23% average in developed countries. The preference rate was highest in the emerging Asia region, at 48%. China eclipses the average in the wider emerging Asia region by a significant margin, thanks to a rapidly expanding digital ecosystem. The country has a relatively low rate of credit card adoption, allowing the likes of WeChat Pay to spread rapidly, especially in urban areas.