(Yicai Global) May 29 -- More than three quarters of Shanghai businesses accepted mobile payments as of the end of the first quarter, after a push from the Chinese central bank to broaden its availability.
A quarter of all businesses in the eastern metropolis also now accept QR code payments, China Securities reported, citing data from the Shanghai branch of the People's Bank of China. More than 50 well-known chains, including Japanese convenience stores Lawson and FamilyMart and French supermarket Carrefour, now accept QR code payments.
The local PBOC branch has been encouraging the use of mobile payments in key areas, such as public transport, healthcare, taxes and utilities. By the end of the first quarter, 16.2 million subway journeys had been paid for using mobile channels, with daily transactions peaking at 570,000. The city has also optimized its clearing services and reduced the time it takes to open an account to around half a day from two working days.
China is pushing the concept of a cashless society closer and closer to reality and saw mobile transactions total CNY81 trillion (USD12.8 trillion) last year. It is easier than ever to spend an entire day without the need for a wallet as convenience stores, gas stations, restaurants, and even the homeless accept mobile payments in place of cash.
Twenty toll lanes on Shanghai expressways have piloted QR code payments, while 10,000 vending machines citywide and 30 vegetable farms had accepted 360,000 and 190,000 QR code payments as of the end of the period.
Editor: James Boynton