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Asia-Pacific’s emerging markets surpass advanced markets in mobile wallet usage

Asia-Pacific is the leading global region with regard to mobile wallets

Mobile payments have taken Asia-Pacific by storm, with nearly half of the region’s smartphone users having used proximity mobile payments in 2018. This payment method has proven successful among consumers across the subregions ranging from East Asia to Oceania to South Asia and beyond. With recognizable apps, certain mobile wallets have become incredibly popular in particular markets, mostly confining to national borders.

Emerging Markets vs. Advanced Markets

The emerging markets have taken the lead in terms of mobile wallet adoption, with China steering in front. China leads by a significant percentage compared to all other regional markets, having many early adopters in this sector. All things considered, the advanced markets, particularly South Korea, have made sizeable contributions to the mobile wallet market as well. Although their adoption rate has been more gradual compared to, per se, China, nonetheless, they’ve been able to maintain promising growth rates, with South Korea taking second place to China. Japan has lagged behind other regional markets, but is expected to see substantial growth over the next few years. At the same time, the larger emerging markets of China and India are now expected to see stagnating and even declining growth rates in terms of mobile wallet transaction volumes.

Mobile Wallet market players in Asia-Pacific

This robust mobile wallet market is home to monumental players in the industry including Alipay (China), WeChat Pay (China), Paytm (India), Rakuten Pay (Japan), Kakao Pay (South Korea), and GO-PAY (Indonesia). Having evolved out of E-Commerce platforms, messaging apps, and even taxi hailing services, these innovative mobile wallets have grown to take material shares of local and regional markets in creative ways. GO-PAY, for example, grew from a ride-sharing platform to one of Southeast Asia’s most successful mobile wallets.

From Japan to India, mobile wallets have transformed the payment landscape of the Asia-Pacific region, seeing unbelievable developments in emerging markets and advanced economies alike. Although the region’s emerging markets took the initial reign, there is more to come from its advanced economies.

For more details on this trend, see the report “Asia-Pacific Top 10 Mobile Wallet Profiles 2019” by yStats.com.