Mobile Payments in China: Emergence of a Mega-Market

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11 November 2010


China will soon be the largest mobile payments market in the world. China's mobile payments market is expected to soar 48% year on year to 410 million users by 2013.

In a new report, Mobile Payments in China: Emergence of a Mega-Market, Celent examines the market size, market characteristics, major supply chains, vendors, technology and customer experience of mobile financial services in mainland China.

The major players in China’s mobile payments market include mobile operators, banks, and third party payments companies. Mobile operators mainly focus on contactless mobile payments, and they have established their own payment networks in shops, stations, etc. Banks are licensed to handle large transactions and are able to provide complex financial products. They mainly focus on large payments, with SD cards bound with bank cards. Third party payment companies are more competitive in terms of product innovation and discounts.

Remote mobile payments and contactless mobile payments are two different business models with very different markets. More payment tools, such as bank cards, credit cards, and prepaid cards will be integrated into the mobile phone. A huge market will open if China UnionPay succeeds in linking the SD card to credit cards and bank cards.

"Partnerships with banks are very important for vendors who want to enter the market. Currently, the best business model in the Chinese market focuses on cooperation between operators and banks,” says Hua Zhang, analyst with Celent’s Asia Financial Services group and author of the report. “Mobile operators and third party payment companies are also strengthening their cooperation with the banking industry for increased success.”