Mobile payment transaction numbers in China grew in 2020 as people looked to reduce contact to limit the spread of Covid-19 (coronavirus), research by China UnionPay found.

The annual survey on mobile payments showed 98 per cent of respondents indicated mobile was their most commonly used payment method, up 5 percentage points from 2019. Some 85 per cent of users said they regularly pay by QR code, an increase of 6 percentage points.

In a report, China UnionPay stated the outbreak accelerated consumer shifts to mobile payments because it is regarded as more hygienic. Consumers made an average of three mobile payments a day, a modest increase from 2019. A quarter of those surveyed made more than five mobile payments a day.

While the vast majority of respondents believe mobile payments are secure, many think security precautions are relatively weak, especially payment verification methods.

China UnionPay stated 8 per cent of users faced online fraud and financial losses, down 4 percentage points, while 75 per cent said they received fraudulent messages, 80 per cent of which were delivered by SMS.