Chinese banks fight tech giants for share of mobile payments market

China UnionPay has reported an increase in the number of Chinese consumers using their bank accounts to make mobile payments. The rise follows an offensive by Chinese banks to counteract the rise of mobile payments made on the payment services of technology platforms such as Alibaba, Tencent and Baidu.

Technology firms’ share of retail payments surged to almost 50% in 2017. It was just 5% in 2012, reports Shine.

China’s banking association is fighting back though. A discount campaign which ran during the country’s Double 12 shopping festival in December attracted more one million new users for UnionPay’s mobile app, while mobile transactions increased more than fivefold over the previous year.

China UnionPay reports that the number of people who used debit or credit cards for mobile payments grew by six percentage points during 2018. Debit cards made up 38% of the total while credit cards accounted for 46%. Other services accounted for 16%, a drop from 22% in 2017.

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