Can The U.S. Ever Catch Up To China In Digital Payments?

While China has mostly adopted cashless and mobile payments, the U.S. is taking efforts to back stores that only accept credit or e-payments. With the approach, the U.S. seems to be taking a backward approach to payments which could harm the country’s economy while China is leading the way toward a mobile payment future? Maybe, yes.

Stores in San Francisco, Philadelphia and New Jersey are requiring that brick-and-mortar stores consider only cash payment for the sales they made. Additionally, New York City is considering a similar law. Currently, New York is the only place where making cash payments was a mandate, mainly at neighborhood retailers that only take cash for small items.

Amazon opened its new high-tech Go stores aiming a futuristic approach in the U.S. by setting up a mobile app or Amazon payment account. Apparently, the retail giant is now facing a backlash as Amazon’s convenience store in New York will accept cash now. What would be the situation if other Amazon Go stores in the U.S. will follow that lead?

Activists and politicians argue that cash-free stores discriminate against low-income people who may not have credit cards or bank accounts and are not using M-payment for their transactions. But if e-payments can work in China, then why not in the Big Apple?

China today is quickly adopting new technologies, particularly for the mobile Internet. China’s M-payments market already exceeds US credit and debit card usage. Nearly each and every citizen in the Chinese country, about 900 million, use their smartphone for payments through transaction apps. Moreover, they typically use Alipay or WeChat Pay, to scan items and pay instantly without banking and credit card fees.


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