As China goes to cashless, instant messaging application WeChat has been a biggest spender in the country as per the economic data.
For quite some time, China’s smartphone owners are way ahead of everyone else on Earth when it comes to paying for things with their phones.
According to the data, about 45 percent of WeChat users pay for things in stores using the messaging app’s wallet feature because they don’t even carry cash.
Not bothering to carry cash is the third reason cited for using WeChat to pay for their Starbucks or the groceries – the speed and ease being the top two factors, based on the survey conducted by Penguin Intelligence.
WeChat was first introduced in 2011 by Tencent and in 2016 it was been one of the biggest messaging application in China with over 900 million monthly active users are spending more than ever using their phones, with larger transactions – of US$73 and above – now much more common than in 2015.
However, the popularity of WeChat does not penetrated worldwide.
The Penguin Intelligence’s study also shows that supermarkets and convenience stores are the top venues for using WeChat’s wallet feature, while, online shopping comes second.
WeChat’s push into ecommerce and payments has put parent company Tencent on a collision course with Alibaba, which runs China’s top mobile wallet app, Alipay.
While it’s impossible to discern which is winning purely in terms of people paying for things with their phones, WeChat is steaming ahead with its service, which covers both online and in-store payments.
92 percent of people in China’s biggest cities use apps like WeChat or Alipay as their primary payment method, finds the study. Cash comes in second place (39 percent), while debit and credit cards are third.