Summary of How Far Can You Travel Without Cash In China?

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Mobile payment has become the mainstream payment method in urban China, but many areas and shops still require you to reach for your wallet rather than your smartphone. People’s Daily Online reporters Wang Guang and Li Ruoyu analyze the merits and limitations of mobile payment in public transportation, hospitals, utilities and parking services. To further facilitate mobile payments, they suggest, emerging Internet finance companies should collaborate with traditional companies to develop integrated services. getAbstract recommends this article to those interested in mobile payments.

In this summary, you will learn

  • Which pain points exist in China’s mobile payment ecosystem;
  • How hospitals, public transportation systems, parking systems and the utility sector apply mobile payments in China; and
  • What changes in the mobile payment ecosystem could further propel the technology’s proliferation.

About the Authors

Wang Guang and Li Ruoyu are both reporters at People’s Daily Online. The two frequently collaborate on feature articles related to financial issues in China. People’s Daily Online is one of the top 10 newspapers in the world.



Mobile payment has become the mainstream payment method in urban China. With a swipe of your smartphone, you can purchase your subway ticket, pay for medical appointments, settle your parking ticket and even pay utility bills. The new form of payment replaces the need for plastic metro cards or even cash in many areas of life, but it has not replaced the wallet to become an all-encompassing payment solution yet. Five pain points still exist in the mobile payment system:

  1. Not all phones feature the necessary compatible technology – People with phones that don’t support near-field communication (NFC) technology or whose phones are incompatible with the terminal can’t use Beijing Subway’s mobile payment option. The service requires users to download the Yikatong...