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Asia Far Ahead in Mobile Payment Adoption

This article is published in collaboration with Statista

by Anna Fleck

Online mobile payments took off during the pandemic, as consumers were stuck at home and, no longer able to visit brick and mortar stores, turned to e-commerce. However, as our chart shows, mobile wallet adoption wasn’t uniform in markets across the world in 2021.

WorldPay data from FIS has found that the Asia Pacific region reached a much higher market share of mobile payments than other parts of the world. As our chart shows, 44 percent of the transactions made at point of sale (POS) - i.e. in a shop or in person - were carried out with a mobile phone instead of a debit/ credit card or cash and 69 percent of online shop payments were completed on a mobile device. Africa had the second highest share of POS mobile payments, at 12 percent, while Europe only saw 8 percent of POS transactions carried out on mobile.

Asia has long been a front-runner of mobile payments. According to Global management consulting firm McKinsey, Southeast Asia has become a “wallet-first region.” They explain: “Mobile-payment wallets have become a vital part of the Southeast Asian consumer landscape, allowing financial access for millions of previously excluded people. As online spending soared during the Covid-19 pandemic, wallets saw a surge in newly registered users. Uptake of this convenient technology now far outpaces that of credit cards in the region’s emerging markets, thereby revitalizing the payments ecosystem.”

It’s become clear that mobile payments not only embrace the buy now pay later (BNPL) lifestyle, but are also ideal for gaming, or for buying from social media platforms such as Instagram. In addition to ease of use, and their ability to reach a large user base, mobile wallet payments also offer opportunities for unbanked people - adults who for various reasons may not have access to their own bank account.

In this chart, ‘e-commerce payments’, includes online payments made via PayPal and its competitors on a mobile device, and not from a desktop. Find out more on the topic in the Statista Dossier Plus "Mobile Payments II: The business models behind mobile payments."

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