Photo taken on June 13, 2015 shows the People's Bank of China in Beijing, capital of China. (Xinhua/Chen Haitong)
by Xinhua writer Li Ming
NEW YORK, Sept. 15 (Xinhua) -- China has outperformed other countries in financial technology (fintech) services adoption and what is happening in China indicates the global trend of the emerging industry, U.S. experts say.
"The work in China has been dramatically ahead of anywhere else in the world," said Jim Bruene, founder of Finovate conferences, which showcase cutting-edge banking and financial technology.
With more intelligent, in-context financial services, especially commerce activities built around social media applications, "China is likely five or six years ahead of the United States," Bruene told Xinhua on Thursday on the sidelines of Finovate's fall conference which was held on Sept. 11-14.
The latest report by Ernst & Young showed that China's fintech adoption rate came at 69 percent in an index that measures users' activity in various areas, including money transfer, payments, investments, borrowing and insurance, the highest among 20 major markets globally.
In mobile payments alone, volume in China hit 5.5 trillion U.S. dollars last year, 50 times the size of the 122-billion-U.S.-dollar market in the United States, according to data from market research firms iResearch and Forrester respectively.
Bruene, a veteran of U.S. Bank's research and development department, noted that what happens in Chinese market is a "leap forward," meaning China did not go through some of the traditional banking systems in the United States and went right towards electronics.
"We are still spending billions of tax payers' money in delivering paper statements and checks ... while the story in China is really big and amazing," he said, referring to the fact that over 500 million people in China make purchases of goods and financial services via Alipay and Wechat Pay, two major third-party mobile payment tools in the country.
Wechat Pay, the e-payment platform built inside the 900-million-user Chinese social media application Wechat, is seen as the future of fintech services by many experts.
"Messaging is the next web browser, fintech and all other applications are going to live in a mobile messaging application like Wechat, just like how they lived in web browsers," said Greg Ratner, co-founder and chief technology officer of Troops, a U.S. artificial intelligence startup.
"It is going to be the future and is already happening in China. And I think it will come to the United States in the next five years," Ratner told Xinhua.