What are Mobile Payment Systems?
Mobile payment systems, like Alipay and WeChat are just that – apps that allow you to pay digitally from your mobile phone or use them as an online payment method. They essentially create a virtual wallet by linking your banking cards to the app, eliminating the need for physical debit cards, credit cards, and even cash. Alipay and WeChat are quite diverse, as you can pay by having your QR code (which is linked to the account) scanned, you can scan a vendor’s QR code and send them the appropriate amount, or you can send funds from one account to another manually.
Mobile Payment Development
Mobile payment systems have come a long way over the last decade. As more and more Chinese businesses and vendors continue to modernize, so too does the mobile payment industry. The people of China have left behind cash and even plastic forms of payment, as Alipay and WeChat have taken over the payment market. In a city like Shanghai, it is virtually impossible to function without the use of Alipay and WeChat, as many vendors are using it exclusively.
Versatility is Key with Alipay and WeChat
Alipay and WeChat are the two major players in the Chinese mobile payment market. They have claimed significant share, arguably because of their versatility. Users of the mobile payment platforms can use it online to pay for things purchased via websites. Then, they can turn around and use it to pay a friend back for their share of breakfast. On the run, they can use it to grab a snack from a vending machine. They can use it to buy pretty much anything, anywhere.
These mobile payment platforms have become so versatile that many are carrying no cash at all. Some may carry an emergency bill or two, but otherwise customers utilize mobile payment like Alipay and WeChat exclusively.
Merchants Need Mobile Payment
There is a myriad of reasons that vendors are leaving cash behind and switching to mobile payment capabilities. While some are exclusively using mobile payment, many are utilizing it to supplement their POS payment options. Let’s look at six specific reasons businesses are, or should be, including mobile payment systems like the Alipay merchant account and WeChat merchant account into their point of sale options.
1. Safety: Having the ability to get rid of the box full of cash is perfect for small vendors who may be wary of being a target for thieves. While a small amount of funds is reasonable to provide change to those who may still want to pay cash, mobile payment provides the opportunity to carry much less cash on hand.
2. A Level Playing Field: Many small businesses were caught in a bind before the advent of mobile payment systems. The lack of a quality POS system, that could accept payments other than cash, can inhibit a smaller business from competing with larger companies that take multiple forms of payment. Systems like the Alipay merchant account and WeChat merchant account have eliminated this advantage for larger companies, so a smaller outlet can compete.
3. A Rapidly Changing Market: Simply put, any successful business needs mobile payment to keep up. The generations born in the 1980s and 1990s are quickly moving to exclusively using payment methods like Alipay and WeChat. If a business digs in its heels and decides they do not want to use a mobile payment system, they will soon realize that they are not receiving payment – or customers – at all.
4. Business Development: Another major advantage of an Alipay merchant account or WeChat merchant account is the benefit of business analytics. Mobile payment systems can track things like the most popular products, or the busiest times of day, to make your business far more efficient than it is by simply guessing at these stats.
5. International Growth: Originally servicing the Chinese market exclusively, Alipay and WeChat are now expanding into the global market. The Chinese people are a people that love to travel. As the majority who travel already have these mobile payment methods, international growth of mobile payment is expanding and making it even more necessary for businesses to ensure they offer this method of payment.
6. Dominating Market Share: Alipay and WeChat mobile payment make up 94 percent of the mobile payment systems market in China. As expansion continues into rural areas and internationally, they look to gobble up more and more of that market. As a vendor or business, accepting these forms of payment ensures that you accept the most popular mobile payment options.
The Current State and Future of Mobile Payment
With the generations now entering their 30s and 40s being mobile payment proponents, all signs point to mobile payment companies being around for the long term. Mobile payment growth has exponentially increased over the last couple of years and has reached a feverish pace of development.
Not only are these apps expanding globally but they are also continuing to develop. Merchants are seeing an increase in versatility and analytic reporting that will soon be impossible to do without. Alipay and WeChat payment systems started as creating an opportunity to accept payment anytime, anywhere and are now rapidly changing the way businesses operate altogether.
Businesses Need Mobile Payment
As popularity grows, it becomes increasingly important for businesses to include mobile payment methods like an Alipay merchant account and WeChat merchant account. It will become virtually impossible to operate without these point of sale options. Being able to accept mobile forms of payment and take advantage of vital analytical information will be key to the success of any size business. Getting on board with the Alipay merchant account and WeChat merchant account now will allow a business to grow and develop, just as the apps are themselves.