The Mobile Payments landscape by eMarketer

Each week, eMarketer is diving into the mobile payments landscape and seeing what adoption looks like across various countries such as Germany, UK, India or China.

In Germany, many people are comfortable paying with cash and don’t see any significant benefits to changing their habits, especially older generations. eMarketer expect 5.8 million people in Germany will use proximity mobile payments, making up 8.0% of the population. Germany’s penetration is ranked last in Western Europe. Apple, Google and Samsung will play an integral role in growth.

Mobile payment adoption in the UK isn’t also as widespread as in other countries. eMarketer expects only 7.2 million people will use mobile payments (13% of the population).

 “Contactless credit cards is a mainstream payment option that people have been comfortable using for a long time (…) and they just aren’t convinced that mobile payments would give them any added benefit. For example, even though the London Underground accepting virtual wallets, contactless cards are still the preferred option.”

India is the world’s fastest growing proximity payment market with 73.9 million people (7.6% of the population) that will use mobile payments. That’s an increase, of 39.7% from 2017, according to eMarketer estimates. There are a couple factors driving mobile payment adoption in India:

  1. demonetization of high-denomination cash notes in November 2016, which took a lot of cash out of circulation and gave both consumers and merchants a pressing reason to adopt digital payments.
  2. influence of firms in China like Alibaba, which owns about a third of homegrown mobile payment service Paytm, with the adoption of QR codes to complete transactions.


In China, mobile payments have made large inroads thanks to rapid smartphone adoption and the absence of alternative payment methods. eMarketer expects 525.1 million people will use mobile payments (45.2% of the population). China has a relatively low credit card penetration rate, and consumers have been skipping the adoption of payment cards in favor of mobile options like WeChat Pay (Alibaba).

“These payment services in particular helped encourage adoption by running cash prize promotions and other discounts tied to the Lunar New Year holiday. Mobile payment use has also been hastened by the widespread adoption of QR codes in China, which lower the cost barrier for merchants and make processing transactions dead simple for shoppers”