Proximity mobile payments are on the rise with over a third of smartphone users (34.9%) above the age of 14 years making a payment using their phone at least once every six months. According to new research from eMarketer, these transactions are at physical point of sale (POS).
China is already at the forefront of proximity mobile payment adoption, accounting for 61.2% of worldwide users in 2018. Although the research estimates that the country’s share will decline as other ones are adopting the technology, by 2021 China will still have the majority at 56%.
The rise in proximity mobile payments is largely driven by the big players including Android Pay, Apple and Samsung Pay. Alipay and WeChat Pay have also made a considerable mark.
In addition, ever more retailers are accepting mobile payments thereby fueling growth.
Led by China, Asia Pacific is projected to have the highest penetration in proximity mobile user penetration among smartphone users (around 50%).
In terms of usage across the total population, China and North America are both at 20%, given more advanced smartphone technology availability in the US.
Meanwhile, adoption in Europe has been slower because of dominant contactless card usage. Contactless cards already offer the desired level of convenience for many users.
The report finds that the issues currently limiting proximity mobile payment application in emerging markets include weaker bank account penetration, limited smartphone usage and a lack of payment terminals.