Emerging Markets Lead in Uptake of Mobile Payments

Continuing our mobile payments series this week, today’s chart explores which of our 42 tracked markets lead for the uptake of these alternative mobile payment services.

As we discussed yesterday, APAC leads the way for mobile payment usage. The lack of credit card culture in many SE Asian emerging markets – many of which sit in the top 10 for uptake here – has allowed them to fast-track their transition from primarily cash-driven economies into digital payment hubs, and mobile is at the center of the growth. The story is similar for markets in Africa too, with Kenya significantly ahead of others in the region.

As one of the earliest adopters of mobile payments, South Korea is the only market to have moved past the 50% mark for monthly users of these services, with the banks now backing a future “cashless economy”. These types of payments gained popularity in the country after the introduction of T-money in 2004 for public transport use, familiarizing consumers with the tech and building trust – something we will explore in tomorrow’s chart (02/05/2018).

India’s financial ecosystem was heavily influenced by the Indian government’s 2016 demonetization program, where four-fifths of cash was removed from circulation overnight. This helped to fast-track the economy into a digital payments hub – the market now in second place for monthly mobile payment users in our data.

As the global ecommerce trend continues to gain momentum, the race for the payment providers to get a foothold in emerging markets is reshaping the mobile payments landscape, making these markets prime targets for the leaders of the industry such as Apple Pay and Ant Financial’s Alipay.