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US and China figures show pay by mobile going from strength to strength

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The growth in smartphone and tablet usage across the past decade or so has transformed our lives in so many ways, but one of the more recent exciting developments has undoubtedly been the ability to use the devices to pay for goods and services.

Mobile payments options may have initially seemed to some consumers as a bit of a novelty, but there are growing signs that the concept is becoming an essential part of life for many people.

Eye-opening figures

A recent study conducted in the US by Bank of America Merchant Services and Forrester Consulting has put a real spotlight on this issue, with one of its key findings being that the number of people choosing to pay in-person at small businesses with services like Apple Pay and Google Pay has doubled in the past two years. Furthermore, when it comes to online shopping, the same study also found that the use of third-party methods like PayPal has increased from 11 per cent in 2017 to 27 per cent in 2019.

While such figures clearly indicate that US consumers are feeling increasingly comfortable using mobile platforms, arguably the most eye-opening statistics related to these payments in recent times have emerged from China.

A report from the China Internet Network Information Center claimed that a total of 621 million people in the country had used mobile payment services as of June this year, with the figure being an increase of almost 38 million when compared to 12 months earlier.

Changing times for how we pay

Such findings are undoubtedly a clear sign that after years of using coins, cheques and bank cards, consumers across the globe are increasingly attracted to more alternative ways to make payments. This trend is something that many sectors have had to respond to and it is becoming the norm to see businesses rise to the challenge and accept a range of payment methods.

For example, in the world of video gaming, PayPal can be used as a payment method on Microsoft’s Xbox One alongside the more traditional methods of both credit and debit cards. Furthermore, as Casino Wings highlights, many online casino sites these days tend to accept deposits from PayPal as well as the likes of Neteller, Skrill and WebMoney.

Elsewhere, in recent weeks, it has been confirmed that Southwest Airlines has integrated Apple Pay transaction support into its mobile app, meaning customers can pay for a range of items using the service. The move is thanks to a link-up between the airline, CellPoint Digital and the payment network UATP.

Here to stay

All of this undoubtedly seems to highlight that, while trends come and go, mobile payment services are seemingly well and truly here to stay.

With more and more consumers making use of them and an increasing number of brands embracing them too, it seems like the technology is edging ever closer to being a mainstream proposition. It will certainly be fascinating to see how the growth of this area continues to develop in the coming months and years, as well as what new innovations could emerge to take it to the next level.

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Paul Skeldon

Editor and content creator for Telemedia – for 18 years and counting

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