“We need banking but we don’t need banks anymore,” said Bill Gates two decades ago, predicting the explosion in startups creating web and app-based financial services that we’re seeing right now. With nearly US$11 billion last year invested into so-called fintech startups across Asia, the sector is rivaling online shopping and ride-hailing among the hottest tech arenas.

As this seismic shift takes place, nowhere is it more visible than in China.

At a Starbucks in Shanghai, a punter pays for coffee with a messaging app, waving their phone in front of a barcode scanner. At the sushi joint next door, a customer settles the bill with a mobile wallet app; after lunch, she pays an electricity bill with the same app, and then moves some of her salary into a high interest personal fund. No notes are counted out, no coins bounce and clatter into cash registers, no-one queues at the bank.

“The country leads the world when it comes to total users and market size,” observed a McKinsey report last year about China’s fintech boom, with people entrusting US$1.8 trillion in 2015 to online finance services of all shapes and sizes.

Data is for end of 2015.

China’s overall fintech market is now worth up to US$2.2 trillion.

By looking at China’s main fintech sectors, we can sketch a picture of how this will shape up around the rest of the world.