The total transaction volume by Chinese independent mobile payments services reached 1219.74 billion yuan (roughly $200bn) in 2013, a 707% year-over-year increase, according to the latest report by online tracking and data analysis service iResearch.
The independent iResearch refers to are all payments services excluding those by conventional banks and China UnionPay, the bankcard association. And ‘payments’ include peer-to-peer money transfers.
The major driver of the growth, however, isn’t mobile shopping anymore but online money transfer, credit card payoff and other mobile payment applications.
Payments as a percentage through text messages decreased steeply in the past three years, from 92.5% in 2010 to 6.1% in 2013. 93.1% payments were through mobile payments apps or other services in this year.
The share of near field payments declined from 2.6% one year ago to 0.8% — NFC, the only mainstream near field technology, isn’t widely adopted in China. But it is expected that other near field payment solutions like Alipay On-site, with QRcode and acoustic payment capability, will drive near field payments in 2014.