There was a lot of exciting new tech at this year's Consumer Electronics Show, but the mobile-payments space was one that really stood out.
In this clip from Industry Focus: Tech, analyst David Kretzmann talks about what he saw around mobile payments at CES, why China is the world's hot spot for mobile payments, and why the space is so exciting for investors.
A full transcript follows the video.
This video was recorded on Jan. 19, 2018.
Dylan Lewis: There were some bright spots here at CES, specifically mobile payments. This is a space that has been blowing up. People that have been following PayPal, for instance, have seen firsthand just what the market opportunity looks like here. You noted that Alibaba's (NYSE:BABA) presence in mobile payments in particular was really something that stood out to you.
David Kretzmann: Yeah. If you're interested in the mobile-payments space, there's obviously a lot of companies based in the U.S. like PayPal, Mastercard, Visa, that are all benefiting in some shape or form from the transition to digital or mobile payments. But you really have to pay attention to what's happening in China. One stat I just pulled up: In 2016, total mobile payments in China totaled $5.5 trillion. In the U.S., it was just $112 billion. The Chinese mobile payments volume is more than 50 times what we see in the U.S. And a big driver of that is Alibaba. Some stats that they had, Alibaba had a big booth this year, and among other things, they were showcasing what they're doing with AliPay, which is their mobile or digital payments offshoot. AliPay now has over 520 million active users, over 10 million brick and mortar merchants now accept AliPay, and that's really become a primary payment method, not just for digital payments but for payments in general in China. Their real-time risk identification takes 100 milliseconds per transaction. On Singles' Day -- which is Nov. 11, 11/11; that's a big shopping holiday in China that was created by Alibaba -- the payment processing capacity of AliPay reached 256,000 transactions per second. So they've really nailed down this mobile and digital payments platform, and the numbers that they threw out there were staggering. Anyone interested in mobile payments, pay attention to what Alibaba and Tencent are doing over in China.
Lewis: I'm curious. You said that Alibaba had this fairly large booth at CES. What does showing off mobile payments actually look like? Because that's not a consumer electronics device that you can throw in front of someone and have them be amused with.
Kretzmann: Yeah, they really just had some futuristic-looking screens that kept spitting out these different stats, so I snapped a couple of pictures, like, man, that's really impressive, what they're doing. They were showcasing a lot of different stuff, the breadth of the Alibaba retail platform, which is impressive. They had their voice assistants and smart homes, very similar to the Echo -- Alibaba really has an identical device to that. They have their own voice assistant, and then they had this mobile payments futuristic screen, the cool graphics and some of these different stats that they were throwing out.