In China, mobile commerce has become one of the top priorities for organizations in retail, hospitality, transportation and other services industries, given the dramatic growth of smartphone adoption and the exploding e-commerce spending. Alipay, the leading third-party online payment platform in China and sister company of the country’s largest C2C website, claims 60 million mobile payment users and estimates 10% of its 2012 transactions were from mobile devices.

In terms of mobile payment, mobile proximity payments and mobile remote commerce have gained momentum through early industry implementations and government support. Starting 2011, the variety of technologies and platforms available in the market has grown significantly.

Under such circumstance, many IT organizations are interested to understand more about the landscape of the mobile payment space. They are also seeking information about the multiple platforms that will be enabling them for their corporate mobile commerce strategies, especially considering that the mobile payment market landscape in China is dramatically different from other parts of the world.

Therefore I have worked with my colleague Wenyuan Zhao and published the report named "Making Informed Mobile Payment Investments In China", trying to give the answers.  Some of the key takeaways of this report include:

  • Understand the landscape soundly. Key mobile payment solution vendors include mobile operators, financial institutions, and providers of third-party online payments and that emerging plug-in device solutions.The boundary between mobile proximity payments and mobile remote payments is also blurring. Our suggestion is understanding the complexity of the vendor landscape and choosing vendors that can provide one-stop service and industry expertise
  • Uncover the hidden cost. I&O pros need to carefully examine the cost of mobile payment solution deployments throughout the payment cycle and consider factors such as first-time adoption costs, installation costs, operation costs, transaction costs, and payment clearing cycles (see Figure 4). A successful evaluation must factor in costs that are sometimes overlooked or underestimated:  the cost of mobile payment Also, the end consumer's adoption cost can be very important as the goal of mobile payment deployment is for improving customer experience.
  • Be prepared for business analytics based on mobile payment. Mobile payment solutions empower I&O pros to explore new business models and identify growth engines that would benefit from the disruption that mobility brings. Particularly for medium-sized organizations, offering business analytics and intelligence services add value and a deeper understanding of the business.

I am happy to hear your feedback, and engage you for further discussions for any specific questions you may have in the mobile commerce and payment space for China.