Thomas Friedman said:
China has moved so fast into a cashless society, where everyone pays for everything with a mobile phone, that Chinese newspapers report beggars in major cities have started to place a printout of a QR code in their begging bowls so any passer-by can scan it and use mobile payment apps like Alibaba’s Alipay or Tencent’s WeChat Wallet to contribute to the beggar’s mobile payment account.
Chinese men and women friends tell me they don’t carry purses or wallets anymore, only a mobile phone, which they use for everything – including for buying vegetables from street vendors.
“America has been dreaming of becoming a cashless society,” Ya-Qin Zhang, president of Baidu, China’s main search engine, remarked to me, “but China is already there.” It has “leapfrogged the rest of world” and is now going mobile-first in everything.
Most of us need to be paying far more attention to what’s happening with technology in the developing world…