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Mobile Payment Statistics Detailing the Industry’s Growth

Mobile Payment Statistics Detailing the Industry’s Growth

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A growing concern for online security, along with the recent global pandemic, has given rise to mobile payments. In this overview of the most recent mobile payment statistics, we’ll look at the global industry to see how widespread this payment method is. In doing so, we’ll also focus on three of the world’s largest markets — the US, the UK, and China. Finally, we’ll briefly discuss the rising threat of mobile payment fraud.

Top 10 Mobile Payment Statistics and Facts for 2023

  • The global mobile payment market was worth $1.97 trillion in 2021.

  • 25.7% of people worldwide use mobile payments.

  • The top 10 mobile payment apps have 3.37 billion users combined.

  • 1.5 billion people used QR code payments in 2020.

  • 43.2% of US smartphone owners use mobile payments.

  • 43.9 million Americans use Apple Pay.

  • Mobile payments accounted for 32% of all transactions in the UK in 2021.

  • In 2020, mobile transactions in China totaled $63.23 trillion.

  • QR code payments in China totaled $5.15 trillion in 2020.

  • In 2021, mobile payments accounted for 39% of all fraudulent transactions in the US.

General Mobile Payments Industry Statistics

The global mobile payment market was worth $1.97 trillion in 2021.

This marked a 27.9% increase from $1.54 trillion in 2020. According to projections, the market will continue growing at 29.1% annually over the next seven years, eventually reaching $11.83 trillion by 2028. The increasing adoption of contactless payment worldwide will be the main growth driver, with Asia-Pacific and North America as the two fastest-growing regions.


25.7% of people worldwide use mobile payments.

Experts predict the use of mobile payment will continue its upward trend, reaching a share of 33.4% by 2024. Amid the global pandemic in 2020, mobile and digital wallets were the most popular point-of-sale (POS) payment method, ahead of credit cards (22.4%), debit cards (22.3%), and cash (20.5%). Much of mobile payments’ growth will come from the declining use of cash, the share of which will fall to just 12.7% by 2024.

(Merchant Machine)

The top 10 mobile payment apps have 3.37 billion users combined.

Unsurprisingly, Alipay and WeChat Pay hold the largest mobile payment market share, with 650 and 550 million users, respectively. The rest of the top 5 comprises three American apps — Apple Pay (507 million users), Google Pay (421 million), and PayPal (377 million). Meanwhile, the lower half of the list includes India’s Paytm (333 million) and PhonePe (300 million), South Korea’s Samsung Pay (140 million), and US’s Venmo (52 million) and Cash App (36 million).

(Merchant Machine)

Mobile payment usage went up by 64.4% during the global pandemic.

Before the pandemic, about 900 million people used mobile wallets. But between March and December of 2020, the global mobile payment adoption went up to 1.48 billion users. Propelled by this rise in usage rates, mobile payments accounted for 44.5% of all ecommerce transactions in 2020. For context, this was twice the share of credit card payments and triple that of debit card transactions.

(Trading Platforms)

China is the undisputed global leader in mobile payments.

In 2021, 87.3% of China’s smartphone users also used mobile wallets for contactless payments. South Korea was in a distant second at 45.6%, with the US close behind at 43.2%. Looking further at the use of mobile payments by country, India was fourth, with 40.1% of its smartphone users also using mobile wallets. The list also includes Japan (34.9%), Canada (29.1%), Italy (25.9%), Indonesia (24.6%), the UK (24.4%), and France and Russia (21.1% each).


1.5 billion people used QR code payments in 2020.

According to industry projections, the number of people using QR code payments will exceed 2.2 billion by 2025. With 29% of all smartphone owners using them, the value of QR code payments should reach $2.7 trillion during that time. Most of the growth will come from infrastructural developments in emerging markets. But although already a developed market, the US will also see a whopping 240% increase in QR code payment usage over this period.

(Juniper Research)

Mobile Payment Usage Statistics in America

43.2% of US smartphone owners use mobile payments.

In 2021, this amounted to 101.2 million Americans — up by 9.64% from 92.3 million in 2020. Recent projections show that the number of mobile wallet users in the United States will keep growing in the coming years, although at a gradually declining rate. By 2025, experts predict that 125 million Americans, or just over half (50.1%) of all smartphone owners, will be using mobile payments.


43.9 million Americans use Apple Pay for mobile payments.

The most popular mobile payment app among Americans is Apple Pay, statistics reveal. It is projected to add another 14.4 million users by 2025, further strengthening its lead. Meanwhile, Starbucks is the second most popular app with 31.2 million users — but as the name suggests, this app only works at Starbucks restaurants. The other two apps with a sizable market share are Google Pay (25.2 million users) and Samsung Pay (16.3 million users).


US mobile payment users spent $2,439.7 per person in 2021.

This marked a 23.6% rise from 2020, when the per-person average was $1,973.7. According to mobile payment statistics, 2022 will see a considerably smaller year-over-year increase of 15.7%, taking the total per-user spend to $2,822.7. By 2025, analysts predict an average mobile payments user will spend $4,064.3 per year — more than double what they spent back in 2020.


Younger consumers are driving the growth in mobile payments.

A 2021 survey found that 84.6% of Gen-Zers and 81.3% of millennials had used a mobile wallet for payments at least once in the previous year. That puts these two age groups well ahead of Gen-Xers (65.4%) and baby boomers (33.3%). Interestingly, 16.9% of Americans from the so-called “silent generation” — the youngest of whom were 75 at the time of the survey — also said they used mobile payments.


Most Americans use their mobile wallets to buy groceries.

In an August 2022 survey of mobile payments trends, 53.3% of respondents said they last used their mobile wallets to pay for groceries. Other common expenses included fast food (20.6%), gas (19.6%), clothing and accessories (17.5%), and medications and health products (12%).


80.6% of Americans use mobile wallets for fast transactions.

Besides transaction speed, other top reasons for mobile wallet usage include ease of use (77.8%) and convenience (76.9%). Another 32.8% of American shoppers say using a mobile wallet makes it easier to track their spending. Additionally, 28.5% say they’re drawn to this payment method because it provides rewards — which is one of the reasons why the Starbucks app is so popular among US consumers.


Mobile Payment Usage Statistics in the UK

Mobile payments accounted for 32% of all transactions in the UK in 2021.

Almost a third (32%) of all British adults were registered with at least one mobile payments service in 2021. Of that number, an impressive 92% said they actively used these services to make payments during the year. Moreover, 70% said they used them at least once a month.

(UK Finance)

60% of Brits aged 16–24 use mobile wallets.

These Gen-Zers — the youngest portion of British consumers — make for the most avid mobile wallet users in the country. Mobile wallet usage statistics reveal that the share of users declines with age. As such, 44% of those aged 25–34, 36% of those in the 35–44 group, and 29% of people in the 45–54 bracket say they use mobile wallets. Older Brits are also jumping on the mobile payment bandwagon, with 22% of those aged 55–64 and 12% aged 65 and over.

(UK Finance)

Apple Pay is the largest mobile payment platform in the UK.

With 63% of UK mobile payment users saying they’ve used Apple Pay in the last year to complete transactions, it is by far the most popular payment platform there. PayPal ranks second with 39%, Google Pay is third with 33%, and Samsung Pay is fourth with 12%. All other services are in the single digits. The most popular of these include Barclays bPay (4%), Fitbit Pay (4%), Bitpay (3%), Boon (3%), Garmin Pay (3%), and Masterpass (3%).


China Mobile Wallet Statistics

In 2020, mobile transactions in China totaled $63.23 trillion.

The number (¥432.16 trillion in the local currency) marked a 24.5% increase from ¥347.11 trillion (50.78 trillion) in 2019. Mobile payments in China have rapidly grown over the past decade, making the country the global leader in this sector. For context, the total worth of mobile transactions in 2013 was ¥9.64 trillion ($1.41 trillion), meaning China has seen a mobile payment growth of 4,383% over just seven years.


AliPay is the most popular mobile payment provider in China.

According to a 2022 survey, 93% of China’s online consumers regularly used AliPay, while 86% used WeChat Pay. This makes them far and away the two most popular mobile payment services in the country. Other popular services include UnionPay (43%), JDpay (24%), Tenpay (20%), Apple Pay (19%), BestPay (16%), and Huawei Pay (10%). This means that AliPay has a market share of 29.9%, WeChat Pay holds 27.6%, and UnionPay has 13.8%.


QR code payments in China totaled $5.15 trillion in 2020.

Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the transaction value grew substantially each quarter, going from ¥6.7 trillion ($980 billion) in Q1 of 2020 to ¥11 trillion ($1.61 trillion) in Q4. The total value of ¥35.2 trillion marked a 5.1% increase from ¥33.6 trillion ($4.92 trillion) in 2019.


62.7% of China’s population used mobile payments in 2021.

While the number of users will keep growing in the coming years, experts believe the market is nearing the saturation point. As such, mobile wallet usage statistics show that 2022 will see just a 2.5% year-over-year increase, from 735 million users in 2021 to 753.4 million. By 2025, the number of mobile payment users in China will go up to 796.4 million — a mere 5.7% increase over three years.


Mobile Payment Fraud Statistics

In 2021, mobile payments accounted for 39% of all fraudulent transactions in the US.

The country saw an unprecedented surge in mobile fraud — it was up from just 8% a year earlier. Cybercriminals are also exploiting consumers’ increased reliance on smartphone apps in mobile banking. According to mobile wallet statistics, this type of fraud accounted for 29% of the total cost of banking fraud in the US. In 2021, it was second only to online banking fraud (33%).

(SEON Technologies)

Account takeovers make up 61% of attempted mobile fraud attacks.

A recent industry analysis revealed that mobile fraudsters are predominantly targeting older mobile devices with outdated operating systems and app versions. According to the findings, smartphones made before 2016 and those using older versions of operating systems have three times as many fraud attempts against them than more recent, up-to-date devices.

(Help Net Security)

70% of Americans who don’t use mobile wallets are worried about identity theft.

Other common reasons why people haven’t yet started using mobile payments include a preference for cash payments (43%), not knowing the benefits of this payment method (30%), and fear of running out of data on their mobile plans (19%).

(The Pew Trusts)

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The Future of Mobile Payment: The Takeaway

With more than a quarter of the world’s population already using them, mobile payments are a way of the future. The global pandemic and concerns for the safety of online transactions have propelled the rise of mobile payments, which will continue in the coming years.

According to mobile payment statistics, 33.4% of people worldwide will be using mobile wallets in 2024. And by 2028, the industry — which is currently worth $1.97 trillion — will grow more than fivefold, reaching $11.83 trillion in value.


Radovan Sekulic
Radovan Sekulic
Radovan is a journalism graduate with years of experience as a writer and editor. He loves dabbling in numbers and percentages, interpreting data, and trying to make sense of seemingly complex information and turning this into digestible articles. He is also a pop culture aficionado with boomer taste, and if he's not watching movies or reading on current events, he's probably busy getting cat hair off his furniture.