Exploring Asia's APMs: Trends, Types, and the Brands Asians Can’t Live Without

Last week, we started a series of articles focusing on APMs (Alternative Payment Methods) around the world. APMs and their usage trends vary vastly between different regions. Selecting the right payment methods for your target markets is crucial when building your payments strategy and making sure you provide your potential clients with their preferred payment methods. Today, we are going to look at the Asian markets, and the key things you should know if you are planning to grow your business in this bustling region. 

In Asia, APMs have taken center stage, transforming the way businesses and consumers handle transactions. Already in the early 2010s, Asian markets were distinguished by high smartphone usage, which propelled the growth of mobile-first eCommerce and, naturally, the growth in demand for mobile wallets. In this article, we will delve deep into the trends, types, and most popular brands shaping the APM scene in Asia. To sum up, the two trends defining the Asian APMs scene are Mobile Wallet Dominance and QR Code payments. 

Mobile Wallet Dominance:
Asian countries, particularly China and India are defined by the widespread adoption of smartphones, which has propelled mobile wallets like Alipay, WeChat Pay, Line Pay and Paytm to becoming indispensable in consumers’ daily lives.

QR Code Payments:
QR code-based payments have become ubiquitous in Asia. Small businesses, street vendors, and large retailers alike have adopted QR codes, enabling seamless transactions. This trend is notably prominent in China and Southeast Asian countries.

Asia’s Top APMs

If you are planning to grow your business in Asia, here are some of the popular APMs. It is worth keeping in mind that the perfect fit of the right payment method depends on a number of factors. Praxis’ team of Payment Optimization experts will be happy to advise on the best options for your industry and needs. 

In 2021, mobile payments in China reached a staggering $59.5 trillion in transaction value, reflecting the country's mobile payment dominance. 

  • Alipay: Alipay, operated by Ant Group, boasts over 1.3 billion users globally. It offers a wide range of services, from mobile payments to wealth management, making it an indispensable part of daily life in China.
  • WeChat Pay: Integrated into China’s omnipresent WeChat app, WeChat Pay enables users to make payments, split bills, and even invest in financial products. 

Interested in these solutions? It’s important to remember that while WeChat Pay and Alipay lead the market, it is worth pointing out that they may be limiting to a number of businesses / industries. Talk to our Payments team to find the solution that can be a better alternative and fit for your business needs. 

India's digital payments market is expected to reach $1 trillion by the end of 2023, with mobile wallets and UPI transactions driving this growth.

  • UPI (The Unified Payments Interface): UPI has revolutionized digital payments with their instant mobile payments, enabling seamless bank-to-bank transactions via smartphones.
  • Paytm: Paytm has emerged as India's leading mobile wallet and payment gateway, with 350 million users. It offers services like mobile recharges, bill payments, and ticket bookings, becoming a one-stop-shop for many Indians' financial needs.
  • PhonePe: PhonePe, owned by Walmart, has gained traction with its UPI-based payments, allowing users to link their bank accounts directly for seamless transactions.

Southeast Asia:
Southeast Asia's digital payments market is projected to grow at a compound annual rate of 14.2% from 2020 to 2025, indicating the region's increasing reliance on digital transactions.

  • GrabPay: Grab, Southeast Asia's leading super app, offers GrabPay, enabling users to pay for rides, food deliveries, and online purchases. It has rapidly expanded its services across multiple countries and gives an insight to a major trend within Asia’s payments.
  • MoMo: MoMo is Vietnam’s most popular mobile wallet which can be used to make payments online, rather than paying directly from the customer's card or bank account. Customers can either load money on to their mobile wallet, or connect it to their bank account or payment cards.
  • ViettelPay: ViettelPay, part of Vietnam’s largest mobile network operator Viettel Group, is the nation’s leading mobile online payment service provider. It offers mobile banking services, a digital banking platform, cash withdrawal from ATMs and domestic bank transfers.
  • DuitNow:  DuitNow is a real-time online fund transfer service that provides consumers and business owners options to transfer money using an account number or ID called DuitNow ID, without the need to divulge bank account numbers. 
It is clear that mobile wallets and QR code payments, so popular in the Asian markets, are not just a trend but a fundamental shift in how commerce is conducted in the region. With the integration of technology and a deep understanding of consumer needs, Asian countries continue to pave the way for the future of payments, setting an example for the rest of the world. 

At Praxis, we have over 1000 Alternative Payment Methods in our network. Contact us today to learn which ones would be a perfect fit for taking your business to the next level in Asia.