The US and Europe are lagging behind China on mobile payment development due to merchants’ lower willingness for change, Apple CEO Tim Cook (pictured) told the China Development Forum.
Reported by China Daily, the Apple boss said 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.
“People in the US and Europe get used to credit cards and merchants in the US are very slow to adopt new terminals that make mobile payments possible,” Cook said. “But in China, because of the huge number of small businesses, there is a higher willingness to accept changes.”
The latest annual statistics from the China Internet Network Information Center – an administrative agency of the Ministry of Industry and Information – showed almost 68 per cent of China’s mobile phone users had made a payment with their handset during 2016. This equates to around 469 million people, and was up 31 per cent year-on-year.
Although there are few recent statistics covering the whole of Western Europe and the US, Juniper Research estimates the proportion of mobile subscribers making payments in Europe and the US is a long way below the Chinese figure. In the US it said only 16.5 per cent of smartphones had been used to make a mobile payment in 2016.
Speaking to Mobile World Live earlier this year Windsor Holden, head of forecasting and research at Juniper Research, said the challenge for adoption in the US was partly education on the use of any type of contactless payment. In Western Europe, he said wallet companies needed to differentiate from contactless cards, which are already very popular in several countries.