China: Unicom Announces Planned NFC Payments Launch with Merchants Bank
China Merchants Bank plans to issue a debit application and a separate e-purse for China Unicom SIM cards, according to reports. The applications would support the Quick Pass application from payment network China UnionPay. Customers of the bank could tap on more than 160,000 terminals that UnionPay has rolled out in Shanghai and others elsewhere in China. Customers would also be able to conduct remote payment transactions with the phones.
The Chinese NFC market is gearing up for rollouts in 2013, with No. 2 telco Unicom preparing to launch in December 2012 and its larger rival, China Mobile, readying a huge trial scheduled to start in February, followed by a commercial launch later next year. Both telcos plan to put payment and other secure applications onto SIM cards supporting the single-wire protocol. But that is not the only secure element being promoted in China. In fact, China Merchants Bank, Unicom’s launch partner, has already announced an NFC payments service that loads its application onto embedded chips in HTC phones. And UnionPay is also promoting microSD cards for use in NFC phones.
* Trusted Service Manager: Defined loosely to include companies or other organizations securely distributing, provisioning and managing applications, generally over the air, on secure elements in NFC mobile phones; or licensing their platforms for this purpose.
N/A: Not available or not applicable.
Last update: Nov. 2012