Information Systems Integration – Tony Messina

Mobile payment evolution

Mobile payment evolved in a huge extent in the past few years in China, and two most outstanding players in mobile payment market are WeChat and AliPay.

WeChat is a social media/messaging application owned by Tencent with the “smart wallet” feature built in, and AliPay is a payment application affiliated with Alibaba similar to PayPal. In China, almost all of the mobile payments can be done just by scanning the QR code either provided by the merchant/seller or the buyer. WeChat and Alipay have become the most popular payment methods in the past few years driven by the QR code technology. Chinese customers use mobile payments from buying fruits from a local joint to paying a personal piano tutor.

(If you’re interested knowing more how mobile payment is like in China compared to U.S., click here to watch a video made by Financial Times of using mobile payment in day to day life:


How about the mobile payment in U.S.? Apple Pay and Samsung Pay are implementing their mobile payment by installing NFC (Near Field Communication) Technology. However, according to Financial Times, consumers in U.S. and Europe still are used to paying by cards or cash rather than paying using their phones. And in my opinions, QR code is a less expensive and more convenient approach to mobile payment, especially for the small businesses.

How do you think mobile payment should be implemented in U.S.? Would the model in China also work in U.S.?


6 Responses to Mobile payment evolution

  • I think the mobile payment model in China may not work well in U.S., though I really enjoy the model in China. In China mobile payment market, third-party companies domain the market, like Alipay and Wechat Pay. They are popular because of extremely convenient. All you need is your phone and the Apps. The reason that I think it does not work for U.S. is the demand for mobile payment in U.S. is not as high as in China. In China, you could use third-party mobile apps to pay lots of living costs, such as water, telephone bill, gas, internet, and food from a small restaurant/booth that POS is not available. In addition, the popularity of C2C business model is also a reason why mobile payment prevails in China. On the contrary, in U.S., you need to pay the bill through corresponding companies. For example, if you want to pay your house water, you must pay it through PGW. But in China, you could pay it by using Alipay, bank, and also Wechat Pay. Most of U.S shops could afford POS, but it does not work in China.

  • Very interesting discovery for me. I feel that the difference seen here in the United States could be due to the populations comfort in adapting to new technologies and methods. I believe that more than finding news to get the population of technology users to increase, it could be more beneficial to teach and show the benefits of using technologies like QR codes and NFC to pay and explain how this would save so much more time, effort and cost.

  • I really like this topic, in China, you can go out without card or cash, the only thing you need is a smart phone, and maybe a charger at same time. I believe the reason of America prefer using credit card rather than a phone is because they use credit card since twentieth century. American already Accustomed to use credit card, which makes American hard to change the shopping method from credit card to mobile wallet. In China, people usually use cash before mobile wallet was issued. Once people realized how convenient mobile wallet is, they quickly changed to mobile wallet.

  • Mobile pay methods are not popular methods of payment in the United States mostly due to not being accepted every where and not enough marketing push for the service. I have an Iphone set up with Apple Pay but I do not even think to use Apple Pay when it is available. Most of the time I do not even know which stores accept mobile pay.

    If Apple/Samsung spent more resources marketing and making mobile more affordable for stores it would be more of a successful product. The success is relative to the push for its use. It is a convenient way to purchase goods. Society is all about carrying lighter and less objects around in their daily lives. If i did not have to carry a wallet with me and be able to use it everywhere then it would be a no brainer. This is not the case. The day mobile pay becomes available every where is the day mobile pay takes over.

  • I was recently in a store in they said that they do not take apple pay. I find this interesting that the main source of payment they use in China in mobile payment. I think that while its a good idea, it may not be for everyone and that is what we are seeing in the United States. People are more accustomed to their traditional ways of paying and don’t have any interest in changing that.

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