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>> It's the nation that first started using paper money more than a thousand years ago. But now China might be the first country to phase it out because it's found a new way to pay. In this three part Reuters TV series, we'll be looking at the explosive rise of QR codes.
In the world's second largest economy, including what's behind the boom and the pros and cons of a rising cashless society. First though, a look at just how widespread this way of paying has become. I am Reuters' Grace Lee in China's capital Beijing. And today, my producer and I are gonna go around the city and instead of paying for things with this wallet, we're gonna be using this.
China is becoming increasingly cashless with over 70% of its population saying they don't carry around cash on a daily basis. Take this unmanned grocery store where customers can enter and pay using their phones through QR codes. It's a concept that Amazon originally came up with, but it hasn't taken off in the US yet.
When China got wind of it though, it became a moneymaking reality. Transportation is another thing that you can pay for with your phone, whether you're trying to catch a cab, take the bus or ride one of these bikes to work. But QR code payments here go far beyond what people in the West would put on their credit cards.
They're used for everything from paying rent to doctor's appointments. Beijing's traditional wet market might have been the one place to bring cash to up until a few years ago. But now, with QR codes up and ready to go at every single one of these stalls, you can buy everything from meat to fish, to even a fresh slice of watermelon with just a touch of a button.
In fact, QR codes have become so common that even some homeless people use them for people to directly transfer change to their accounts. So we're winding down with some dinner which we'll also pay for by phone. We've managed to spend the whole day without using any cash. And with the country's tech giants pushing for a more cashless society, it might not be long until this is what a typical day looks like in China.