Special Digital Monies: The Design of Alipay and WeChat Wallet for Mobile Payment Practices in China

Abstract : While research studies of digital and mobile payment systems in HCI have pointed out design opportunities situated within informal and nuanced mobile contexts, we have not yet understood how we can design digital monies to allow users to use monies more easily in these contexts. In this study, we examined the design of Alipay and WeChat Wallet, two successful mobile payment apps in China, which have been used by Chinese users for purposes such as playing, gifting, and ceremonial practices. Through semi-structured interviews with 24 Chinese users and grounded theory coding, we identified five contexts in which the flexibility and extensive functions of these payment apps have allowed these users to adaptively use digital monies in highly flexible ways. Finally, our analysis arrived at our conceptual frame—special digital monies—to highlight how digital monies, by allowing users to alter and define their transactional rules and pathways, could vastly expand the potential of digital monies to support users beyond standard retail contexts.
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Yong Kow, Xinning Gui, Waikuen Cheng. Special Digital Monies: The Design of Alipay and WeChat Wallet for Mobile Payment Practices in China. 16th IFIP Conference on Human-Computer Interaction (INTERACT), Sep 2017, Bombay, India. pp.136-155, ⟨10.1007/978-3-319-68059-0_9⟩. ⟨hal-01679828⟩

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