Some 373 million rural Chinese residents made payments by mobile banking apps in 2016, an increase of 35 percent, according to central bank data.
Transactions totaled 23.4 trillion yuan (3.4 trillion U.S. dollars), up 71 percent. The number of transactions jumped by 62 percent to 5.1 billion, according to the People's Bank of China (PBOC).
Mobile banking posted the fastest growth among non-traditional payment methods in rural China, with online banking stagnant and telephone banking falling significantly.
It is costly and time consuming for residents in underdeveloped or remote areas to reach banks and ATMs, so mobile banking is becoming crucial in rural areas.
About 126,700 bank branches are located in rural areas, or 1.4 branches for every 10,000 residents, with 3.8 ATMs per 10,000 residents.