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6 Surprising Facts about Payment in Asia You Should Know

By Wirecard Editorial Team

Did you know which nation is the fastest-growing mobile commerce market worldwide?
In which country mobile payment is most widespread?
And which mobile payment app has more users in only one Asian country than there are EU citizens?

Here are six current facts about payment in Asia that you should know – and that might surprise you!

1. Asian emerging markets are a huge opportunity for digital payment

Within the next 4 years, digital payments in Asian emerging markets will grow by an impressive 30%!

With the exception of Japan and Singapore, most markets within Asia are considered emerging markets. They include countries as different as the huge nations of China and India, but also Indonesia, South Korea, Malaysia, Pakistan, the Philippines, Taiwan and Thailand.

As heterogenous and diverse as they are, what they have in common are two decisive factors:

  • their economies are highly dynamic
  • and many people are embracing technology, showing a great openness towards innovation.

2. Mobile Payments: APAC is the strongest-growing market worldwide

Also in terms of mobile payment, there is a lot of growth potential: Experts predict a compound annual growth of a staggering 35.2% in the Asia-Pacific region, i.e. also including countries like Australia and New Zealand.

So in the whole APAC region, more and more people are becoming aware of the benefits of paying with their smartphones and smart watches – with no wallets or “physical” cards needed.

Thanks to their huge populations, China and India are in the lead and show the highest numbers of mobile payment volume in total, but also in terms of growth, followed by traditionally technology-loving Japan.

3. In mobile payment, China is leading worldwide

When choosing the number one world champion of mobile payment, China truly earns the title. And this is not chiefly thanks to their huge population, but to the fact that Alipay and WeChat Pay, the payment “super apps” (which by the way offer much more than just payment), are extremely widespread in China.

From car vendors to supermarkets to the shoe shiner or snack vendor on the street – there is virtually no one who doesn’t accept at least one of the secure, comfortable and easy alternative payment methods Alipay and WeChat Pay, which are now also about to conquer Western countries.

4. There are more Alipay users than EU citizens

You think the use of Alipay is limited because it is only open to people with a Chinese bank account (even though this is about to change)?

Well, think again – because you might have forgotten how HUGE China is. This is why today there are more active users of Alipay than citizens of the European Union. And in addition to that, there are more than 600 m active WeChat Pay users every month.

There are more active users of #Alipay than citizens of the European Union. And in addition to that, there are more than 600 m active #WeChatPay users every month.

5. Indonesia is the fastest growing mobile commerce market worldwide

Did you know that Indonesia is considered the fastest growing mobile-commerce market in the world? Experts predict a user growth of 69% and an overwhelming transaction value growth of +353% by 2022.

This is thanks to three main factors:

  • Indonesians show a very high adoption rate for mobile payment
  • The government made sure regulatory support is in place for open competition between banks, telecoms companies and tech start-ups
  • There are many fintech companies and banks which are close to amassing the technological know-how and experience to push for mobile payments beyond their internal networks.

This is how digital payments tangibly improve financial inclusion, which is one of the main goals of Indonesia’s government.

6. Singapore is about to become a cashless country

57% of Singaporeans have already at least once paid mobile , and the number of users will grow by 82% in 2022. Mobile wallets such as Singtel’s Dash are highly popular.

The government very successfully promotes the cashless society. The prime minister has recognized the great importance of going cashless and in 2017 has declared it a national top priority, simplifying and integrating all systems via the Payment Council to promote e-payments.

And what are the main benefits of going cashless?

  • Singapore takes the lead in an inevitable process – this is why the government is pro-active and provides the regulatory support, also to maintain the high attractiveness of the nation as an international market, for traders and tourists alike;
  • Going cashless means going more transparent – by being able to keep track of monetary transactions, the government can deter and punish scammers and prevent phenomenons like money laundering or tax evasion.
Around 57% of Singaporeans have already paid mobile at least once, and the number of users will grow by 82% in 2022. #mobilepayment #singapore

So you see, things remain very exciting in Asia – and it is always worth to take a closer look there to see where we are heading in terms of digital payments!

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