China’s No. 2 mobile operator China Unicom, along with China Merchants Bank, today announced plans to launch an NFC payments service next month in Shanghai.
The project would be considered a commercial launch, said observers, since Unicom plans to offer the service on high-end Android phone models from Samsung–the Galaxy S III and Galaxy Note II–and there would reportedly be more than 160,000 contactless point-of-sale terminals available for customers to tap to pay. The service is expected to be expanded beyond Shanghai next year.
China Merchants Bank would issue a debit application and separate e-purse on Unicom SIM cards supporting the single-wire protocol, or SWP. Project organizers plan to introduce other phones, including some Sony Xperia models and at least one model from Chinese handset makers is planned.