China: Unicom Offers Beijing’s Transit-Payment Service on a SIM

 

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Beijing China
Scope: 
Rollout
Status: 
In progress
Launch: 
May 2010
Main Application: 
Payment and Ticketing (transit)
Mobile Operator: 
China Unicom (Beijing)
Service Provider (application): 
Beijing Municipal Administration and Communications Card Co. (BMAP card)
Merchants: 
2,000 locations, including gasoline stations, supermarkets, restaurants and cinemas.
Users: 
1,000 (initial)
NFC Handsets: 
N/A
TSM*: 
N/A
Secure Element: 
SIM
Other Vendors: 
Watchdata (SIMpass)

China Unicom’s Beijing branch is putting Beijing’s transit and close-loop retail payment application onto SIM cards that connect to antennas built into specially equipped mobile phones. Subscribers can then tap the phones to pay fares for buses, subways, taxis and at about 2,000 retail stores and other merchant locations. The subscribers can check their balances and transaction history using a SIM toolkit menu, via text message or by calling Unicom. They can also top-up the stored-valued account over the air or by handing over cash at BMAC kiosks. Subscribers must sign a 12-month contract to get the SIM-based “All-in-One Mobile Card.”

NFC Times Take: 

While China Unicom is interested in rolling out full NFC phones, few handset models are available, so China’s No. 2 telco is issuing the Watchdata SIMpass product in Beijing, and also in the south-central city of Chongqing. In both cases, Unicom has opted for custom-built phones with antennas in the back of the phones that connect to the SIM slot. In some other cities, telcos use SIMpass with a flexible antenna that users have to wrap around their batteries. 

 

* 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: June 2010

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