Chinese mobile payments grew 707% in last year

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125 million people now use mobile payments in China, new statistics have revealed, with the number of payments made on mobile devices increasing sevenfold in 2013.

The 2014 China Internet Financial Development Report, published jointly by the Internet Society of China (ISC) and Xinhua news agency’s Finance World magazine, found that 1.6 billion mobile transactions worth a total of USD 1.6 trillion were made last year.

To date, this growth has been largely driven by consumers, according to a report by McKinsey. The business intelligence firm said that companies are only just starting to catch on to the benefits of mobile payments – and predicts that new internet-based applications could make up 7% to 22% of China’s GDP growth by 2015.

Despite its popularity, government security concerns have seen restrictions placed on the country’s booming mobile payments sector. The People’s Bank of China has announced plans to cap the amount of money that consumers can spend or receive via their mobiles and Shi Xiansheng, Deputy Secretary-General of the ISC, has called for improvements to internet security. The Chinese government, meanwhile, has banned QR codes and virtual credit cards from use in virtual shopping.

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