Electronic payments in China, particularly through mobile devices, recorded huge growth in 2013, suggesting that e-payment and card transactions are becoming increasingly popular among Chinese people in place of cash.
E-payment value reached 1,075.16 trillion yuan (US$177.32 trillion) involving 25.78 billion transactions, up almost 30 percent from a year ago, according to the central bank data released Monday.
Mobile payments reached 9.64 trillion yuan, more than three times the amount in 2012, while the number of transactions using this mode of payment surged 213 percent to 1.67 billion, the data showed.
Internet payments also jumped 30 percent to 1,060.78 trillion yuan, involving 23.67 billion transactions, while payment through phones climbed nearly 10 percent to 4.74 trillion yuan with 435 million bills, the central bank said.
Market observers expect such trend to continue in the coming few years as internet giants such as Tencent Holdings (00700.HK) and Alibaba Group will continue to help promote e-payments, as well as credit card payments.
Meanwhile, the penetration rate of debit cards increased 3.95 percentage points last year to 47.45 percent from the previous year. Consumption through debit cards jumped 52.85 percent to 31.83 trillion yuan, while transfers by cards rose almost 25 percent to 254.12 trillion yuan.
The average consumption per debit card jumped 28.16 percent to 7,554 yuan while the average for each transaction climbed 6.14 percent to 2,454 yuan. Cross-border consumption using debit cards jumped 44.08 percent to 23.75 trillion yuan.
The aggregate credit line of credit cards in 2013 reached 4.57 trillion yuan, up 31.17 percent from the previous year. The outstanding amount payable at the end of the period was up 61.8 percent at 1.84 trillion yuan. The utilization rate of credit line was 40.29 percent, up 7.63 percentage points from 2012.
Bank profits said to be squeezed by bad loans, online finance
China’s banks are seeing their net profits squeezed by rising bad loans and internet finance, Shanghai Securities News reported Tuesday. Earnings of listed banks likely grew 11 percent on average last year compared with 17.36 percent in 2012, the report said, citing Huatai Securities Co. Ltd. (601688.CN) and Shenyin and Wanguo Securities Co. Ltd. Their non-performing loan ratio might have risen 0.02 percentage point to 0.89 percent in 2013, with the outstanding balance of such loans up 18.8 percent, Shenyin Wanguo Securities was quoted as saying.
Suning Group wins insurance agent license
Suning Commerce Group Co. Ltd. (002024.CN), a major Chinese electronics retailer, has won an insurance agent license from the China Insurance Regulatory Commission, the Shanghai Securities News reported Tuesday, citing a CIRC announcement. The new entity, Suning Insurance Sales Co. Ltd., will have registered capital of 120 million yuan (US$19.7 million). Suning Commerce will contribute 90 million yuan and take a 75 percent stake, while Suning Electrical Appliance Group will hold the remainder.
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