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Mobile bank payments in China surge 255%, report says

A People's Bank of China report states that $623 billion worth of transactions were made from mobile phones in the first quarter.

You can use the fingerprint scanner of the Galaxy S5 to make mobile payments. Josh Miller/CNET

You don't need to look at Alibaba, JingDong, or WeChat's mobile payment service to tell you about China's burgeoning online payments.

Mobile payments in the country surged 255 percent year-over-year in the first quarter to 3.89 trillion Chinese yuan ($623 billion). This is based on a report from the People's Bank of China.

Further indicating the shift in the consumer's spending habits in China, mobile payments grew 232 percent year-over-year leading up to Q1.

Keep in mind that the data doesn't take into account independent payment services such as WeChat or Alipay. The report exclusively reflects mobile payments made with bank transactions within China, but what's represented in this data is an insightful look at an e-payment trend.

With 283 million smartphones to be shipped to China's market in 2014, Internet usage is correspondingly on the rise (on both mobile and desktop).

Evidence to this ,of course, is Alibaba, whose revenue increased 66 percent year-over-year in the first quarter to $3.1 billion on the back of rising mobile payments. Singles Day -- a holiday in China to celebrate being single -- generated a single-day windfall of $5.75 billion in revenue from Alibaba's Tmall and Taobao, leading to an 80 percent increase in sales compared with the year before. Twenty-one percent of these sales were made from mobile devices.

Post-IPO Jingdong, an online shopping site found at, has proven so far it has the confidence of its investors. Last week, the company closed its debut day up 10 percent after opening at 15 percent above its initial price of $19. The website's revenue grew 68 percent in 2013, following a 96 percent climb in 2012.

The successes of these e-commerce platforms are almost expected considering a PwC survey from 2013 that found as many as 14 percent of Chinese online shoppers shop daily, while 62 percent shop on a weekly basis.

Looking at the e-payment landscape as a whole, online payments grew 33.8 percent year over year to 287.75 trillion Chinese yuan ($46 trillion) on 7.07 billion transactions, a 25.9 percent increase according to the PBOC.

It's evident that as mobile users are warming up to making payments with their phones in China and shifting the spending habits of Chinese online users, this data from China's central bank underlines the urgency Chinese technology firms are facing in a bid to catch up with the mobile consumption trend.