China mobile payments climb to $1.59T

Number of mobile transactions in the country climbed 212.86 percent to 1.67 billion last year, generating sales volume of 9.64 trillion yuan (US$1.58 trillion).

The number of mobile transactions in China climbed 212.86 percent to 1.67 billion last year as more consumers in the country turned to their devices to make purchases. 

The value of mobile payments climbed a whopping 317.56 percent in 2013 over the previous year to 9.64 trillion yuan (US$1.58 trillion), according to a China Daily report which cited stats released by People's Bank of China. Mobile payments accounted for some 3 percent of the country's overall non-cash transactions last year. 

Non-cash payments in China, which include debit and credit card transactions, grew 21.92 percent year-on-year to 50.16 billion and generated 607.56 trillion yuan (US$99.63 trillion). 

The Chinese central bank in December drafted more rules to regulate mobile payments , which it said would focus on driving innovation and provide corporate guidance in this market segment. The bulk of China's 618 million online users, or 80 percent, access the Web via their mobile devices, and market players are eager to tap the growth potential.

Alibaba's e-payment subsidiary Alipay, for instance, said it would waive a 0.1 percent levy on online transactions if payments were made via its mobile app, Alipay Wallet. Alibaba said it was investing 500 million yuan (US$81.6 million) to develop a mobile services platform to encourage merchants, selling their products on its e-commerce website , to switch to mobile devices. It added that it was targeting to increase the number of registered users of its mobile messaging app, Laiwang, to 100 million by mid-2014. 

According to Alipay, the average per capita online transactions which include shopping, money transfers, and bill payments clocked at over 10,000 yuan (US$1,642) last year.