CHINA TOPIX

Updated 8:44 AM EDT, Wed, Aug 18, 2021

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Public Services in China to Accept Mobile Payment Soon

Garnet, a tech consultancy firm, revealed that mobile payment system will soon invade public services

(Photo : Getty Images) A study revealed that a mobile payment system will soon be available for settling public services including taxes and electric bills.

A recent report by market research firm Gartner said a mobile payment system will soon be used by residents in more than 70 percent of the cities in China to pay for bills including taxes and electric dues. The firm revealed that a number of local government agencies have been persuaded to switch to the new payment platform. 

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Over 90 percent of China's population is connected to the Internet, making smartphones a significant platform for government and private establishments to interact with end users.

Online advertiser Tencent and e-commerce company Alibaba have already been offering the option to pay for public services via their respective smartphone apps. Tencent's messaging app WeChat covers 70 cities, while Alibaba's mobile wallet Alipay covers up to 86. The penetration rate of both companies is about 30 percent, according to Gartner.

Eileen He, an analyst from Gartner, said "Both users and government will choose the most convenient channel or platform to demand or deliver public services."

A separate study by AliPay revealed that in 2015, nearly 65 percent of online payment transactions in China were made via smartphone apps. This is more than a 15 percent increase from 2014. Some experts predict that with the upward trend, wallets may soon be replaced with mobile phones.

Alipay has become the biggest third-party payment service provider in the country as most netizens find it convenient to get access to a variety of their needs with just one app. For instance, it offers services such as paying medical bills and traffic tickets, setting appointment at marriage registration offices and renewing entry and exit point tickets in Hong Kong and Macao. 

Meanwhile, its closest rival Tencent is competing by providing more services for the public sector. Last year, nearly 40 million people utilized more than 25 types of public transactions offered by the company on WeChat.

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