China is gradually becoming a cashless society with everyone paying for goods and services through their smartphone mobile payment APPS. Alipay is the largest, followed closely by Wechat Pay. Apple Pay launched itself a couple of years back but never worked reliably here. It’s amazing how efficient it has become to be able to pay with a QR code; I don’t have to worry about counterfeit notes and business owners can stop worrying about staff ‘pocketing’ cash from the business. The Chinese are so used to this service at home that when they travel abroad, the general comment is how less developed other countries are!
However cashless the country is becoming, it’s always still fun to pull out money from ATMs and get crisp brand-new notes each year. This is always the case after Chinese New Year and it happened the other day to us. Apart from crisp new notes, you’ll notice that the notes have remained in the numerical order in which they were printed. How many times has that happened to most of us??
Another reason why going cashless has its benefits is that you don’t have to carry so much of it around. The 100 renminbi note is the largest denomination and my jaw used to drop when I saw the bricks of notes people heaved into the bank. Some still do it nowadays but it appears less often. The down side of this monetary exchange system is that it makes everyone even more glued to their phones! Aya!