China, Norway and UK lead on mobile pay
Written by Peter Walker
China is leading the world in terms of mobile payments adoption, followed by Norway and the UK.
This is according to data analysis by fee comparison service Merchant Machine, which found that an estimated 47 per cent of phone owners in China use mobile wallets, with WeChat pay and Alipay being the two dominant payment platforms.
Scandinavian nations are moving at pace towards having cashless societies, and at 42 per cent usage, mobile wallets have a higher proportionally in Norway than in any other European nation.
The convenience of mobile wallets could well have contributed to the popularity in the UK, according to Merchant Machine, with 24 per cent of phone users using payment apps.
The research also showed that different age demographics adopt technology at different paces. Perhaps unsurprisingly the 18-34 age bracket took top spot when it comes to both interest in and usage of mobile wallets. Just under half of smartphone users in this demographic have a mobile wallet, with 32 per cent stating that they are interested in the idea of one.
Usage does not drop off immediately the older people get though, with 44 per cent of 35-44 year-old smartphone users having a mobile wallet, while just under a quarter are uninterested in such apps.
It appears also appears that older generations are becoming more and more tech-savvy, with just under 30 per cent between the ages of 55-64 claiming to have a mobile wallet, with a further 27 per cent stating they are attracted by the prospect of using one.
In 2014, Apple launched its first mobile payment app, followed by Samsung and Android a year later, and by 2022, it’s estimated that the transaction value of payment apps will reach nearly $14 trillion.
Following its introduction, 36 per cent of iPhone users had set up Apple Pay on their phone, and it 2017, it was estimated that 87 million people used the app worldwide. Last year, Apple Pay exceeded Samsung Pay’s global reach two-fold, with the latter having only 34 million users.
In terms of mobile payment platforms, Chinese company WeChat Pay leads the way with 600 million users. Fellow Chinese platform Alipay comes second with an estimated 400 million users in 2017.
Separately, retail personalisation platform Nosto found that consumers are growing more comfortable buying items on their phones. Its analysis of millions of visits to fashion sites globally suggested that mobile accounted for 71 per cent of traffic and 56 per cent of sales revenue - up from 64 per cent of traffic and 50 per cent of sales revenue in 2017 - on Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
Conversion rates are also up on mobile phones from 1.98 per cent last year to 2.28 per cent in 2018.
Jim Lofgren chief executive of Nosto said that work to improve mobile e-commerce website was clearly paying off for the fashion industry, however he noted that there’s still work to do as the conversion rate is still significantly lower on phones than on desktops.
“There’s still a lingering suggestion that some consumers are more likely to make their fashion purchases on a bigger screen than on a mobile,” he explained. “That’s going to change as new innovations including the increasing use of AI and the greater availability of personalisation on native mobile apps helps to make the mobile user journey even better and easier – and as people naturally become more accustomed to buying clothes on their phones.”