Mobile payment transactions in China grew 86 per cent in 2016 to 25.7 billion, with the value of the payments increasing 46 per cent to CNY158 trillion ($22.9 billion), according to data from Bank of China.

Non-bank payment agencies such as Alipay, WeChat and Baidu Wallet last year carried out 164 billion transactions, which were valued at CNY99.3 trillion, double the amount of 2015, reported.

One of the biggest drivers of the growth in transactions was the rapid rise of internet finance in China over the past two years, with mobile now the main payment channel. According to iResearch, many of the country’s medium-sized internet platforms are actively exploring consumer finance segments such as banking and insurance.

Apple CEO Tim Cook said this week the number of small businesses in China willing to embrace change in payment methods means China is outdoing the US and Europe in development of these technologies, China Daily reported.

Nearly 68 per cent of China’s mobile phone users made a payment with their handset in 2016, according to data from the China Internet Network Information Centre.