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Mobile payment more favored, but security concerns linger: report

Xinhua | Updated: 2016-11-10 15:01

Mobile payment more favored, but security concerns linger: report

A man uses his smartphone to scan an Alipay two-dimensional code for payments at the first unmanned supermarket in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province. [Photo by Long Wei/Asianewsphoto]

BEIJING - More Chinese consumers preferred to make payments via smart devices as mobile apps have made purchases much easier, but security concerns remain, a PwC report said.

Nearly one-third of respondents in China opted for mobile payment when shopping last year, doubling from 16 percent in 2014, according to the accounting firm's global retail survey. The figure appeared much higher than the world's average of 12 percent.

The popularity came as a result of explosive growth of mobile payment options and an expanding mobile network, the report said.

Chinese have started to enjoy a wide range of mobile payment options that allow faster, secure payment through near field communication and QR code.

More options will be made available through cloud payment, magnetic secure transmission and wearables. Moreover, more advances have been seen in biometric technology, such as the use of fingerprints and facial recognition.

"As competition intensifies, mobile payment players are trying to attract users through the continuous innovation of technology and business models," said Yuqing Guo, PwC China's financial service consulting partner, adding that the technology is reshaping the way consumers assess and purchase products.

But security issues are emerging. Data security was still seen as a huge issue, with leakage of user information, payment fraud and virus attacks emerging as the three biggest challenges for the rapid growing sector.

The PwC report said over 60 percent of respondents were worried that their personal information was not safe.

Chinese regulators have introduced a series of policies to enforce strict supervision. In the mean time, new security approaches are being used, such as payment tokenization.

The sector still has enormous room for growth due to technological advances and the rise of the tech-savvy younger generation, the report said, predicting China's retail and consumer product industry will post a compound annual growth rate of 7.5 percent between 2016 and 2020.

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