China’s mobile payment companies processed CNY81 trillion ($12.8 trillion) worth of transactions in the first ten months of 2017, 38 per cent higher than the total recorded for the entirety of 2016, Xinhua News Agency reported.

Citing official government figures released this week, the news agency said the continued growth was partly due to third party mobile payment providers offering an alternative to bank-based transactions at a lower cost.

China is widely cited as the world leader in mobile payments, with brands from internet giant Tencent and Ant Financial’s Alipay dominating the market.

As their influence continues to grow, authorities in the country have made a number of changes to tighten regulation on the market, including the introduction of a central clearing house which third party companies must route transactions through.

China’s banks have also stepped-up their challenge to the market leaders in recent months, with 30 banks signing up to offer customers services through UnionPay’s QuickPass app.

Uptake issues
While mobile payments continue to boom in China, elsewhere in the world uptake remains patchy.

Despite continued bullish forecasts from analyst companies, in areas where contactless cards are common the prospects for mobile payments tends to be lower, market research company eMarketer said last week.

Meanwhile, Apple CEO Tim Cook has regularly gone on record bemoaning the continued dominance of cash and slow progress of mobile payments in many developed markets.