30 Nov 2009 10:25

China Unicom links with China Unionpay on mobile payments

Beijing. November 30. INTERFAX-CHINA - China United Network Communications Co. Ltd. (China Unicom) has entered a strategic partnership with China's sole payment service network, China Unionpay Co. Ltd. to develop mobile payment services, according to a Nov. 29 joint announcement.

Under the deal, China Unicom subscribers will be able to use China Unionpay to make payments and transfer money among participating banks. The two parties will cooperate on the exploration of value-added services such as e-commerce payment applications and security services.

"China Unicom and China Unionpay are jointly researching a number of payment services, including RFID (radio frequency identification) mobile SIM card, fixed-line and Internet payment options. Payment service trials are currently being conducted in Shandong Province, Sichuan Province and Shanghai Municipality and an official national launch is projected for the second half of 2010," said a China Unicom source close to the situation who requested anonymity.

Mobile payment has been key focus area for telecom operators in the lead up to the 3G era.

China Unicom launched its SIMPASS-integrated mobile payment handset on Sept. 9, which can be used to pay public transportation fares.

Interfax reported on May 25 that China Mobile Communications Corp. (China Mobile) announced its intention to launch its mobile payment platform by February 2010.