Mobile wallets are becoming a dominant payment method with over 4.4 billion users predicted by 2025

There is no doubt that our shopping habits over the past few years have been defined by the Covid-19 pandemic. In order to comply with safety measures, many of us opted for cashless transactions often enabled by mobile wallets.

  • Traditional forms of payment such as credit cards or bank transfers are predicted to decrease as 51.7%  of people (51.7%) are opting to use mobile payment methods. 
  • The movement towards contactless payments and mobile wallets is mostly down to the Covid-19 pandemic 

Mobile wallets expected to generate over 1639.5 trillion in revenue this year

The mobile wallet market has been steadily growing until 2019 when the coronavirus pandemic has begun. As Merchant Machine reports, between 2019 and 2020 the number of users has nearly doubled. 

The safety, security and convenience of digital wallets as well as the popularity of smartphones and general digitalisation of society were among the main reasons for the popularity of this method.

In terms of revenue, since 2015 the total revenue generated by mobile payment apps has nearly tripled and is expected to reach over 1639.5 trillion by the end of 2022. 

YearNext-gen payment technology marketMobile payment appMobile payment app
 Transaction value in billion ($)users in billionRevenue ($) trillion
20151592.20.4550
20162211.250.5660
20173104.330.8780
20184296.671960
20196109.641.41100
20208961.222.31390
202111141.552.3071476.7
202213979.852.6611639.5

Over half (51.7%) of all transactions predicted to be cashless by 2024

Merchant Machine revealed our shifting shopping patterns have influenced the rapid adaptation of digital wallets. It comes at no surprise that in 2024 mobile wallets are predicted to be adapted by more than half of the overall population. More traditional methods such as credit or debit cards will be slowly entering the decline phase. 

The physical aspect of payment methods is clearly affecting our payment preferences. Our society is opting for more convenient contactless methods and the cash participation in our transactions will be decreasing. 

Besides mobile wallets, the only method of payment that will see an increase in popularity among consumers is Buy Now, Pay Later schemes such as Klarna or Clearpay. These methods are particularly popular among Millennials and Generation Z users due to the possibility of splitting the cost into monthly installments.

Global e-com payment methods
 20202024
Digital/Mobile Wallet44.50%51.70%
Credit Card22.80%20.80%
Debit Card12.30%12.00%
Bank Transfer7.70%5.30%
Cash on Delivery3.30%1.70%
Charge & Deferred Debit Card3.30%1.60%
Buy Now Pay Later2.10%4.20%
Direct Debit1.20%1.00%
Prepaid Card1.10%0.50%
PostPay0.90%0.50%
PrePay0.40%0.20%
Other0.40%0.40%

Biggest players: WeChat & Alipay

Merchant Machine identified which digital wallets are leading in regards to the number of users worldwide. The revolutionary mobile payment platforms, WeChat and Alipay, have amassed 650 million and 550 million users respectively.

According to Focus Finance, when Alipay introduced E-Wallets, that usage began to increase substantially. ‘Alibaba was able to seamlessly integrate AliPay into their online marketplace and easily acquire new users by cross-marketing it with their current service offerings”, they explained. 

Other platforms that made it to the top five include Apple Pay (507 millions), Google Pay (421 millions), and PayPal (377 millions). Their popularity in Europe and North America is down to mobile brands such as Apple and Samsung whose products are dominating the market.

Number of users of leading mobile payment platforms worldwide 2022
Digital walletUsers in millions
Alipay650
WeChat Pay550
Apple Pay507
Google pay421
PayPal377

87.3% of Chinese citizens adopt mobile payments 

According to a study conducted by Merchant Machine, China is revealed as the country with the biggest adoption of mobile payments among its citizens. The common usage of contactless payments in China is down to society utilising tech solutions in every aspect of their life. 

Technologically advanced Nordics have also made it into the top 10, with Denmark (2nd), Sweden (5th) and Norway (8th) seeing the biggest increase in people using contactless payment methods.

It was additionally found that US citizens’ adoption of mobile wallets has increased by over 14% between 2019 and 2021, which is the most significant out of all countries on the list.

Adoption of mobile contactless/tap to pay (%)
Country20192021
China81.187.3
Denmark40.9
India37.640.1
South Korea36.745.6
Sweden36.2
United States2943.2
Canada2629.1
Norway25.8
Japan25.334.9
Switzerland22.3